What a Day! HOF and Puff.
I do know how to spell (albeit pronunciation is another thing…). HOF stands for Hall of Fame as in the “Paralympic Hall of Fame”. Only 24 athletes and coaches have received this recognition.
Two of them are Canadians. The late Andre Viger and now Chantal Petitclerc, winner of 21 Paralympic medals, 14 of them Gold. Chantal is of course our Chef de Mission here and one of our newest senators. Congratulations Chantal!
Chantal is also a member of the board of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada.The Paralympic Foundation of Canada’s goal is to ensure that the programs, equipment and people are in place to propel more Canadians with a disability all the way from the playground to the Paralympic podium.
The afternoon and evening brought us our first medals – five in total that day, all Gold and Silver – off to a great start!
The evening program is our Family and Friends recognition event. We always set up a central area we call our “Canada Paralympic House” for friends and family to gather and mingle, watch some sport on the big screen, and welcome athletes for a visit. One night though we go bigger with a recognition event. I know generally what is going to happen, that I have a speech to deliver, and that there will be a Brazilian band after the speeches are over. I don’t fret over the details as the CPC staff always does a fantastic job.
So the drummers come in, followed by several entertainers in elaborate costumes who have even made a large Canadian Flag with the Brazilian Flag on the reverse side. A very nice show appreciated by all in attendance so I sneak in close to take a video on my phone for posting on Facebook.
What I did not see coming were the more shall I say “flamboyant” performers coming in and I don’t realize they are coming towards the front closer and closer to me. That’s somehow the moment I decide to scan the room for the video and slowly start turning, unaware of my new “surroundings”. The result is a screen full of cheeks – alas one video that will never be posted on Facebook for fear of being blocked but I did get a few chuckles with my startle reflex.
I have to say these performers were super professional, engaging everyone (well almost…) in dancing for a good 45 minutes, many of them huffing and puffing while they seem to be hardly breaking a sweat despite those high heels. They then posed for pictures with friends and even athletes! Somehow, I cannot find any picture of me with these lovely ladies, that’s unfortunate (and convenient) isn’t it?
Good times with good friends. What a day!