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Posted by Editoress on 04/8/17
Swimmer Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur Richelieu, Que., and cyclist Tristen Chernove of Cranbrook, B.C., were big winners on Friday night at the 2017 Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame and Sport Awards ceremony held at the Infinity Centre in Ottawa.
Rivard received the award for Best Female Athlete. She was Canada's top medal producer at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, winning four medals in the pool, including three gold and one silver.
Rivard was chosen as Canada's flag-bearer for the Closing Ceremony, named Swimming Canada's and Swimming Word Magazine's Female Para swimmer of the Year and was amongst the finalists for the Lou Marsh Award for Canada's athlete of the year.
Chernove received the award for Best Games Debut. He spearheaded a record nine-medal performance for Canada's Para cycling team in Rio. He took gold in the time trial road race, silver in the individual pursuit and bronze in the 1000-m time trial. Chernove has already won the Canadian Cyclist of the Year award as the top Para-cyclist.
Tristen Chernove and Sébastien Travers
Sébastien Travers of Bromont, Que., received the Tim Frick Paralympic Coach Excellence Award. Travers is the National Para cycling team head coach who directed Canadian cyclists to an impressive nine-medal tally in Rio, making cycling the most successful Paralympic sport for Canada at the Games.
Finally, Maxime Gagnon of Montreal received the Development Coach of the Year Award. Gagnon is the Quebec provincial team head coach and director general of Hockey sur luge Montreal. Gagnon is credited with growing the popularity of Para ice hockey (formerly known as sledge hockey) significantly in the city of Montreal and province of Quebec.
"I've been so fortunate to have the second coming of an athletic career through Para sport," said Chernove. "In 2009 when my body started to really change, I switched from able-bodied padding to Para sport and throughout my whole career I've never been as in love with sport as I am now. I just feel really lucky. I won't say that my life hasn't had some difficulties, but there's always been this huge amalgam of reasons for gratitude so there's no room for pain or suffering. I seem to live on a cloud of gratitude these days."
"To me being a coach is a privilege and being able to influence and be influenced by these guys is a privilege," said Travers. "Every morning I go drop my kids at daycare and say I'm going to play at work. It's about fun. For the next four years, my goal is to make sure that my athletes, even if they are high-performing athletes, they go have fun."
Courtesy Canadian Paralympic Committee
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