Ryerson University welcomed four Canadian Olympians to Toronto at an event at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on March 26.
Ivan Joseph, director of athletics at Ryerson University, introduced Olympic moguls skiers Mikael Kingsbury and the three Dufour-Lapointe sisters –Justine, Chloe and Maxime–at a ceremony honouring the athletes and their return to Canadian soil.
“It’s not every day we have a chance to welcome such an esteemed and accomplished guest list that’s here,” Joseph said in his opening statements. “Clearly the Olympics, especially this past year’s Olympics, are very important to us, having one of (Ryerson’s) own, Lisa Haley, take the Canadian Women’s Team to the gold medal.”
Hayley is Ryerson’s first women’s hockey team coach. This year she helped lead Team Canada to gold in Sochi as an assistant coach.
The introduction was followed by Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly who expressed Toronto’s gratitude for making the city so proud. He then presented the four Olympians with a certificate honouring their achievements.
“To be an Olympian in itself is a significant accomplishment and to do well is an honour and an accomplishment that I think will remain in your minds forever, and certainly in our minds and in our hearts,” Kelly said during the ceremony.
“Canadians have a lot of differences between us, but here is an example of all of us pulling together for the same side, for the same people, and just enjoying their success,” Kelly later told The Ryersonian.
Kingsbury’s first stop in Canada is Toronto. He won a silver medal in Sochi in the men’s freestyle ski event. The 21-year-old says he is excited to be in his home country visiting Toronto.
“Just to qualify to the Olympics I feel was a big achievement for me,” Kingsbury says.
Two of the three Dufour-Lapointe sisters also won freestyle skiing medals in Sochi, as 20-year-old Justine won gold, and 22-year-old Chloe took home silver.
As to why the event was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, Kelly says that it was the perfect place because of its iconic status.
“There’s nothing that says Toronto more than the Maple Leaf Gardens and today nothing says Toronto more than one of the fastest growing universities, not only in this city but in Canada – Ryerson.”