Statement by the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), on the Bestowing of Diamond Jubilee Medals to Canadian Athletes

Jan 25, 2013, 16:00 ET from Canadian Heritage

VANCOUVER and OTTAWA, Jan. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, I invite you to join me in congratulating Canada's outstanding athletes as they receive The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

As Minister of State (Sport), and a big Team Canada fan, I could not be more proud of the accomplishments of our exceptional Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the London 2012 Games. They showed the world what they could do and made Canada proud. It is only fitting that today, in Her Majesty's honour, we recognize the achievements of these exceptional athletes who have worked hard to serve their communities and country.

The following athletes received their Diamond Jubilee medals at ceremonies in Ottawa and Vancouver:

Douglas Blessin Travis Murao
Ian Chan Tobias Ng
Nathan Dewitt Joelle Numainville
Bradedon Dolfo Scott Patterson
Jason Dunkerley Catharine Pendrel
Jonathan Dunkerley Courtnay Pilypaitis
Kevin Evans Joan Elizabeth Reid
Brent Hayden Doug Ripley
Trevor Hirschfield Jessica Smith
Brianna Jennett-McNeill Nathan Stein
Joshua Karanja Anthony Theriault
Stacie Louttit Christos Trifonidis
Dorothy Ludwig Nick Tritton
Michael Mason Josh Vander Vies
Riley McCormick Jessica Vliegenthart
Jan Margaret McLachlan Dustin Walsh
John McRoberts Michael Wilkinson
Sasha Mehmedovic Dylan Williamson
Meghan Montgomery Aleksandra Wozniak

In addition, the following athletes received their Diamond Jubilee Medals in December 2012:

Joe Bartoch Janine Hanson
David Blair Nikkita Holder
Jacqueline Brooks Brittany MacLean
Aaron Brown Natalie Mastracci
Rachael Burrows Diana Matheson
Robert Joshua (Josh) Cassidy Jessica Phoenix
Reid Coolsaet Leah Robinson
Joel Dembe Tamara Steeves
Tracey Ferguson Shona Thorburn
Sultana Frizell Joseph Veloce

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is one of many ways in which we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's accession to the Throne. A total of 60,000 Diamond Jubilee Medals are being awarded to Canadians. Presentations took place throughout 2012 and will continue until February 28, 2013, the date when the program closes.

Commemorations like the Diamond Jubilee contribute to our collective identity and help define who we are as Canadians. As our athletes prepare for future challenges, especially the Pan and Parapan American Games that Canada will host in 2015, let us look forward to our country's 150th anniversary in 2017 and celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, strong, and free country it is today.

On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, I invite Canadians to join me in honouring these special Canadians.


SOURCE Canadian Heritage