Saturday, October 27, 2012

CTV's Amazing Person of the Year 2012 Award

On 27 Oct 2012, I was named as the CTV Amazing Person of the Year 2012 award.  It was an honour to say the very least and completely unexpected.

The event overall was awesome. Kimothy Walker and the CTV Organizing Committee did an absolutely fantastic job of putting this event together.  We started off the evening at my place.  A bottle of Rose Moet and Chandon later the four of us jumped into the car and headed to the Ottawa Convention Centre.  When we arrived at this amazing location we were greeted by a Red Carpet moment.  We were welcomed, ‘pinned’ and then photographed.  The Champagne was flowing at this location too so of course we had to partake again!!!  Very nice reception. 

At about 7pm we headed upstairs to the ballroom.  Each table was assigned an old Hollywood star – afterall the theme of the Gala was ‘Old Hollywood’.  We sat at the Elizabeth Taylor table!!! 

The evening started as soon as people were seated and the entertainment and events were AMAZING.  There are so many talented and gifted people in Ottawa.  Who knew?  Well now I do.  As we began the first course of the meal, Kimothy announced the names of the top 5 nominees.  My name was called.  Our table cheered as we ate our mushroom soup.  Just in time for the next course about 15 mins later, Kimothy got up and announced the top 3 nominees for 2012.  CTV then showed the video for each of the top three nominees.  The third video happened to be mine.  Curtis grabbed my arm, shaking it back and forth in excitement.  I’m thinking to myself yahoo I made top 3 and was quite happy to just eat my salad.  Curtis turns his head and says to me, ‘Kim I really think you should wait to eat your salad until they announce the name’.  I don’t think Curtis and I were on the same page at that point.  I’m thinking I’m starving and I want to eat and that it was a real honour to be named top 3, so be happy and LET’S EAT !!  So in pops a spinach leaf and name was called as the winner !!!  To my delight (and horror with spinach possibly stuck in my teeth) my table screeched with excitement and surprise and I tried desparately to swallow the leaf and make my way to the stage.  It was a surreal moment for me.  Nothing I ever expected.  I am up there with Graham Richardson receiving this award and I am in complete shock.  I had a smile that was ear to ear…and not a good smile either with red lipstick.  But who cares.  At that point I was just so honoured and so happy, that I could do nothing else but smile.  People were standing up, shaking my hand and congratulating me left, right, and centre and I don’t think I stopped smiling or saying thank you for about the next 3 hours.  

I can say that I did get a few bites of dinner in me, and I did try and eat ALL of my dessert as a reward in celebration of this honour.  I also got up on the dance floor to jiggy to Gangnam style !! 

Many thanks to the organizers, to Kimothy and Eme and all of my friends and family, and coaches who have supported these past 6 years.  A big thanks to the people of Ottawa for their support.  It truly means a lot to me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Canadian Forces Sports Hall of Fame

On 12 Oct 2012, I was inducted into the CF Sports Hall of Fame.  This came as a complete surprise although I had hoped that one day, my name would grace this prestigious group.

Many thanks to Col Ning Lew who submitted my name for consideration.  Special shout out to Eric Schaeffer of A Step Ahead Prosthetics in NYC who helped me learn to live life without limitations.  Eric makes these amazing legs I wear; no more blisters, no more chaffing, no more ripped skin.  Yahooo!!  Also a big shout out to my family and my husband Curtis.  What a lot of people don’t know is that my story is not simply about triumph over trauma, its about my relationship with my spouse and how that has grown into what it is today.  We persevered when most couples divorce particularly when it also involves the death of a child.  We did not.  It is because of Curtis and I have triumphed thru perserverence.  Never let anyone curtail your dreams.  Dare to dream big and then dare to dream to live outside the box.  I did and I do.  I am not mainstream because I choose to ‘make it happen’.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Physics Crossfit

I recently started a new chapter in my training; its called Crossfit.  I am training with Francois and Isabelle at Physics Crossfit on Trim Rd.  Its an awesome studio and the atmosphere is incredibly exciting.  I am finally learning how to lift a bar over my head with precision and good form.  The one thing that I really admire about Francois is that he is always checking and correcting people’s form when lifting the big weight…even the small weight.  He’s all about technique and it better be good or he’s make you do it again and again and again until you get it right.  You are left with a positive feeling and clear knowledge of how to lift properly.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Esprit de Montreal Triathlon

One of the best organized triathlons in the region.  Its completely safe and closed off to traffic.  I raced a personal best a the Esprit.  Mind you a torrential downpour moments before the swim start – not a welcomed moment.  The waves crested at about 0.75m.   Glad I wore my nose plugs.  Lessons learned though, in a crowd of 150-200 women, paratriathletes should have a staggered start.  I had women grabbing onto the legging of my wetsuit not knowing that there was no leg there !!  It shocked the heck out of a few women.

The bike course was on the Formula I circuit.  Fast, holy mackerel.  The run was around the rowing basin.  The original course for us was on gravel.  Fortunately the organizer changed the course when he learned that neither the wheelchairs nor a prosthetic leg (for above the knee amputees) work on loose gravel.  Loose gravel is a hazard. 

Even with the wicked winds I persevered.  This is a race that I will do next year.  I am looking forward to it already !!  Thanks Montreal.  Great city and great reception for the paratriathletes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

Ottawa-Orléans MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) Phil McNeely and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant Crack hosted a wonderful ceremony at the Shenkman Centre in Orleans.  Every MPP in Ontario was allowed to nominate up to 14 individuals for the special honour established to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's reign on the throne. The 21 local recipients were honoured for their dedicated service to their peers, their community and the province of Ontario.  I was one of the chosen recipients for Ottawa-Orleans.  I was awarded this medal for turning tragedy into triumph by taking up the sport of triathlon and winning two bronze medals at the ITU World Paratriathlon Championships, establishing the Canadian Forces Injured Soldiers Network and founding ParAthletes Canada, an organization that provides athletes with physical disabilities the equipment they require to participate in their chosen sport on a competitive level. 

Here is a picture of me with all of the other recipients:

I was truly honoured to be nominated for this medal.  Thanks Phil for having such confidence and faith in what I am doing to build my community.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ontario Leading Women, Leading Girls Building Communities Award

On May 11, 2012 sixteen women and girls from Ottawa-Orléans were honoured at a special ceremony for local recipients of the Ontario Leading Women, Leading Girls Building Communities Recognition Awards.

The ceremony was hosted by Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely and presided over by Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues. 

The Leading Women, Leading Girls Building Communities Awards recognize and celebrate girls and women who demonstrate exceptional leadership in working to improve the lives of others in their community. This year's recipients represent a range of women from local business and students, to health care advocates and community volunteers.

Many thanks to my MPP Phil McNeely and the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues for their recognition of my pursuits.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 7 - Climbing the Great Wall

Well this site was as spectacular as ever. It was a touch anti-climatic in that it took an hour to drive to Metianyu but we only spent about 30 mins climbing the wall. It was quite crowded so moving up and down the stones was a bit problematic. I did not have any trouble walking or climbing but I had to watch where I was stepping. Lots of people stared.

The views of the countryside were phenomenal from the wall. Given the thickness of the wall's construction and the terrain of the countryside, I almost felt as if the Emperor's that had built the wall were a bit paranoid. Seriously...what invading army would plan an invasion thru the mountains with the equipment they would undoubtedly need to overtake the Forbidden City (the ultimate prize)? Just does not make sense. I am thinking that there were a few Generals with enormous egos that posted anyone they did not like to these remote areas. There is nothing around this wall for miles and miles. Complete isolation. Even food would have been hard to come by. Life on the wall would have lacked serious quality of life.

The luncheon afterwards was excellent. It was one of the best meals we have had all week. Many thanks to Ming Hua Chung our tour guide.

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