Birthday Wishes from Canadian Athletes

To: Canada

From: Your Athletes

Re: Your Birthday

David Calder, rowing

“Canada’s 142nd year will see the rise of its Winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes to an all-time high. They will set the benchmark for the rest of us to follow.”

Cassie Campbell, hockey

“Happy 142nd birthday Canada! We are so lucky to live in the most beautiful country in the world. To represent my country at three Olympic Games was amazing. No matter where we were, people from different countries loved the Canadians and wanted to ask us so much about Canada.”

Patrick Chan, figure skating

“I have travelled and competed all over the world, but there is no place like home! Wherever I go, the thought of being in Canada and enjoying its landscape always makes me happy. I am proud when I tell people I’m Canadian and proud to call Canada home. I will celebrate Canada’s 142nd birthday on July 1 and throughout the year, including during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.”

Jennifer Jones, curling

“Thank you Canada for the honour of representing the greatest country in the world! From far and wide there is no place I would rather call home! Happy Birthday Canada!”

Nathalie Lambert, speed skating

“For me, Canada Day is an opportunity to see Canada’s diversity as one of our great strengths as opposed to a source of conflict. It is also a reminder of what a beautiful country it is that we live in.”

Jaret Llewellyn, water skiing

“Wow another big year for Canadians and I want to say thank you for allowing me to represent you all over world. No matter where I go when I say I am Canadian I am welcomed with open arms. I must say there is nothing like coming home and taking in that first breath of Canadian air! I then realize how blessed we are to be Canadians! For all Canadians, I hope this will be your best year ever!”

Liz Manley, figure skating

“I’m so extremely proud to be a Canadian and to be a part of a country of such great champions. Every day I’m honoured to be Canadian and what more to celebrate its birthday as one of them. Happy Birthday Canada!”

Marnie McBean, rowing

Like most things that are constantly with us, it’s easy to take being Canadian for granted. I think I’m really lucky because I have travelled so much outside of Canada with the maple leaf on my chest. I became keenly aware of how great it is to be Canadian, and what a great country we have. I am never as proud of our people, culture, and geography as when I get to see how others perceive us. We are respected for being talented, fair and fun, we are open and diverse, and from coast to coast to coast. We truly live in a spectacular country. Happy Birthday Canada! Bonne fête Canada!

Steve Omischl, freestyle skiing

“I feel very proud to be a Canadian, let alone a Canadian that gets to travel the world and represent our great country at international competitions. I’m excited to see our nation host the world in 2010 and show everyone why we all love Canada.”

Jeff Pain, skeleton

Living in such an amazing place as Canada is both an honour and a privilege. The sacrifices made by Olympic athletes are small in comparison to the sacrifices made by the men and women of the armed forces in defending our way of life, but each of us makes the sacrifice willingly and knowing that it is our duty to boldly represent Canada and show that this truly is the best country in the world. Thank you to everyone who has dedicated their life to making Canada a better place to live so that I can have the honour of showing Canada off to the world on the Olympic stage.

Steve Podborski, alpine

One of the great things you get for being an athlete on the Canadian team is an opportunity to visit other countries around the world. This immersion in other cultures and climates allows a wonderful perspective. I can truly say that I have been to a lot of places and met a lot of people. Everywhere I went and everyone I met, while wonderful and interesting and exciting, has never done anything but reaffirm my conviction that Canada is the best country in the world.

Bruny Surin, athletics

“It was a privilege to wear the Canadian Team uniform at four Olympic Games, as well as having the honour of seeing my country’s flag raised during the 4×100 metres medal ceremony in Atlanta, and at two World Championships. I was proud to sing “O Canada” then, and am still proud to sing it today, and most especially on July 1st when the entire country celebrates our beautiful nation.”

Elaine Tanner, swimming

Wearing the maple leaf meant far more than simply competing for my country. Representing Canada internationally symbolized a collective ideal for honouring fair play and in making an honest effort regardless of circumstances. Our national emphasis on subtle understatement armed me with a quiet confidence that was my best advantage over my competitors. I was proud standing for those values and still honour them today. Thank you Canada and Happy 142nd Birthday!

Hayley Wickenheiser, hockey

“As a Canadian athlete who has travelled, lived and worked abroad, I can say with all my heart how proud I am to be a Canadian. To play and represent Canada on the world stage is a privilege and honour. Whether we are in hockey rinks, airports or generally travelling, the response we get from people when they find out we are Canadian always reminds me how lucky we are to live in a country that values peace, democracy and fairness. Happy Birthday Canada!”