LONDON, Sept. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Paralympic swimming champion Benoît Huot, who won gold, silver and bronze medals in London, will carry the Canadian flag at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Huot set the tone for Team Canada in London, winning the country's first medal - a gold - in world record time in the 200-metre individual medley. He added a silver in the 400 freestyle and bronze in the 100 backstroke.
In four Paralympic Games, Huot has won 19 medals, including nine gold. He was ecstatic to be named flag bearer.
"I would say it's by far the greatest honor that I can receive as an athlete," Huot said. "It's going to be an amazing time and I'm going to stand up and carry the flag as high as I can, and be proud of it."
Huot is not only a Paralympic swimming champion, he is a champion out of the pool as well.
"With the Canadian Para swimming team, he is a true leader helping other veterans deal with the pressure and youngsters adapt to a new competitive environment at a major Games," said Elisabeth Walker-Young, Canada's Assistant Chef de Mission, who was the captain of the swim team when Huot was starting his career. "Friendly, outgoing, smiling, he is a fantastic ambassador not only for Para-swimming but for the entire Paralympic movement as well."
In addition to swimming and his communications studies at the Université du Quebec à Montreal, Huot serves on the athletes' council with Swimming Canada, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Federation.
Fluently bilingual, Huot is a featured athlete in the Canadian Paralympic Committee's Super Athletes marketing campaign and has been nicknamed "The Shark."
"Benoît lived up to his nickname and more at these Games, delivering top notch performances when it counted," said Team Canada Chef de mission Gaetan Tardif. "Especially with his win in the 200 IM, a title he has been training to recapture for the past eight years, since he last won it in 2004. Benoît's commitment to excellence is an example to all Canadians."
Selection criteria for the closing ceremony flag bearer require the athlete(s) to have achieved an outstanding competitive performance in the current Paralympic Games, to have maintained an exemplary standard of behavior, to have exhibited a commitment to fair play and to have earned the respect of their peers.
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 46 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations.
SOURCE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)