WARMINGTON: Medals worth the wait — in gold — for Canadian Olympian

If you are thinking of quitting on your dream, take a moment and think of Christine Girard.

She waited a long time to achieve hers.

And even longer to be recognized. Ten years in one case, six years in another.

But better late then never for the Canadian Olympic weightlifter who was born in Elliott Lake, Ont., but moved to Rouyn-Noranda, Que., with her family at eight years old.

The story begins at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, where she finished fourth. Four years later in at the 2012 London Olympics Girard did even better and won a coveted bronze medal.

It was a nice way to go into retirement and raise a family — she’s now a full-time mom with three kids.

A decade after the Beijing Olypics and six years after the London Olympics, Canadian weightlifter Christine Girard — now a mother of three — has finally received her bronze and gold medals after it was determined other athletes who placed ahead of her cheated. (photo courtesy of the Canadian Olympic Committee)

Then came the doping tests. And later came the news she never expected.

Back in 2008, when she finished fourth, it turns out she actually placed third. Seems the person who took home the bronze at her first Olympics did so thanks to doping advantages.

The story gets even better.

Remember the bronze medal from 2012? That piece of hardware, it turns out, should have been gold.

The women she shared the podium with, the ones who took the gold and silver, were both caught cheating.

It was Christine Girard who was actually the Olympic champion — albeit getting her gold medal in front of a few people in Ottawa and not billions.

But she will take it. It was long overdue.

“I want to celebrate this moment with all Canadians as it is a victory of our values,” said Girard. “I want people to understand that regardless of your gender or sport, with hard work, determination and a little bit of patience, your dreams are within reach.”

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey including my family, friends, coaches and most of all to my country for continuing to believe in promoting equal and clean sport for all,” she added.

This was a big moment for the Canadian Olympic Committee as well.

“We are thrilled that the day has now arrived where Christine will be properly recognized and celebrated for her historic achievements at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games,” said COC President Tricia Smith. “Christine has shown incredible strength and perseverance throughout her long career, always competing with integrity and grace.”

“We are so pleased to see her receive the Olympic medals which she has so rightfully earned,” Smith said. “She is an inspiring embodiment of the Olympic values and fair and clean sport. We congratulate Christine.”

The moral of the story? Never stop believing.

As Christine Girard can attest, some things are worth waiting for.

A decade after the Beijing Olypics and six years after the London Olympics, Canadian weightlifter Christine Girard has finally received her bronze and gold medals. (photo courtesy of the Canadian Olympic Committee)


Obviously with $41.7 million being paid over the next four years for William Nylander to come back from holding out in Sweden there’s money in hockey.

But not for everybody.

Take the Campbellford Rebels for example. They are in essence bankrupt and may not even be able to play out the season.

The Junior C squad, which has been in existence since 1992, has had to turn to social media for funding with the hopes of getting enough cash together to pay for the ice time that will let them get to the end of the 2018-19 season.

“Ice time has not been paid for, coaches are not being paid, busing is not paid and other items that should be provided are not being provided,” writes Cathy Yeager on GoFundMe.

“You wonder how the team is still running? Well, the coaching staff have been covering necessities out of their own pockets as well as continuing to coach knowing they receive no compensatory amount,” she writes. “They have done everything possible themselves to keep the boys playing until the end of the season.”

After more than 25 seasons, the Campbellford Rebels Junior C squad (red and white) is on the verge of bankruptcy and has turned to GoFundMe for financial help. (GoFundMe)

And the players have been troopers too.

She’s hoping to raise $11,000 from the public to help them finish up the season while there is talk of new team ownership or new ideas.

As of Friday evening she had raised $2,300, which is about what some pay to go to a Maple Leaf playoff game.

There is money in hockey — and hopefully there is just a little bit for the Campbellford Rebels too.


Speaking of hockey, one of the best programs for youth in Canada is called First Shift, which is sponsored by Bauer and Canadian Tire for kids six to 10 who have not yet played the game.

They have the best volunteer coaches in the world come out and teach the youngsters from scratch just how the game is played. Six weeks of sessions and head to toe equipment for $199.

Ryan Mulcahy fits Austin Gower, 6, with a new hockey helmet at the Canadian Tire First Shift kickoff at the Max Bell Centre in Calgary, Ab., on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. (Mike Drew/Postmedia)

Many of the kids are stepping into skates for the first time and by the end are skating. It worked for my little guy Josh and I want to thank the Mississauga Hockey League, the Applewood Hockey Association and executive, head coach Jim McCaffrey and his team for all of their amazing efforts to help the kids.

Remember to chase those dreams everybody. Scrawler out.

[email protected]

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies