March 5/10 7:32 am - Para-Cyclist Honoured as First Athlete in Paralympic Torch Relay
Posted by Editoress on 03/5/10
Arnold Boldt received a great honour as the first Paralympic athlete to light the Paralympic Torch Relay. In an official ceremony on Parliament Hill, Boldt lit the Torch in front of an impressive panel of guests, including the Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.
Boldt was chosen for his Paralympic achievements in long and high jump in the 70’s and 80’s. Boldt is considered to be one of the greatest Canadian Paralympian of all time, and took up Para-cycling to compete in his first Para-cycling Road and Track National Championships in 2009. Not only did he win a National Title, but he also met the National Time Standards and earned a spot on the Canadian Para-cycling Team for the 2009 Para-cycling Road World Championships, in Italy.
Boldt has met the National Team qualifications for 2010, and is currently training under National Para-cycling Coach, Eric Van den Eynde.
To showcase the different winter and summer Paralympic sports, the Canadian Paralympic Committee invited a number of athletes from different sports to attend the beginning of the Torch Relay, and represent their equipment and sport. Road and Track Para-cycling Worlds medalist Marie-Claude Molnar acted as a strong ambassador for Para-cycling, and came away from the event filled with higher Paralympic dreams.
The Paralympic Torch will be held by three more para-cyclists during its journey towards Vancouver:
• March 4th, Quebec City: Shelley Gauthier, para-cyclist (cerebral palsy), on trike. Shelley aspired to be the first Canadian Trike Cyclist to compete at a Paralympic Games.
• March 10th, Vancouver: Brayden and Larry McDougall (father), para-cyclist (cerebral palsy). Brayden is a 2008 Paralympian and is aiming for his second Paralympic Games in London 2012.
• March 11th, Vancouver: Brian Cowie, para-cyclist (visually impaired). Brian, recently a bronze medalist at the 2009 Track World Championships, is looking at attending his fourth Paralympic Games in London 2012.
Follow the Torch relay