Though we are officially through Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee year, there are stiill more Diamond Jubilee medals to hand out. The Diamond Jubilee Medal was created as a national community service award and many distinguished Canadians have received one over the past year.
More medals were handed out this past Friday in Vancouver and Ottawa, and three of them went to Kimberley-connected people.
This round of medals was focused on sport. Many athletes from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games were honoured. Also honoured were those who have helped grow the Paralympic movement in Canada, and it is in this category that Annie Johnston, Andrea Carey and Josh Dueck are recognized.
Annie Johnston, along with her husband Jerry, who received his Diamond Jubilee Medal last October, has been instrumental in the development of sport for the disabled in Canada, especially in skiing. Jerry is the acknowledged developer of skiing for the disabled in Canada, and Annie has been a passionate supporter of disabled athletes as well. She was honoured in the Builder category.
Annie says she is pleased and humbled to receive the medal, and wonders how many couples can say each has a Diamond Jubilee medal. Because of his status as a member of the Order of Canada, Jerry received his medal from the Governor General last October.
Andrea Carey is the daughter of Mike and Val Carey of Kimberley. She grew up in Kimberley, graduated from Selkirk High School and is now living in Victoria where she is the Director of Operations and Community Engagement at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence. She is a Director on the Board of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and it is in recognition of her work with this committee that she is receiving the medal. She is very active in promoting sport and fitness, and is involved in several organizations to this end in Victoria.
“I am honoured to receive this distinction and to share this event with such incredible company of athletes and builders in sport,” said Carey on receiving the medal. “Sport fuels our national pride and identity, and our Paralympic athletes tell that story with such passion and commitment. I am proud to be part of the Paralympic movement, and look forward to continuing to grow opportunities from the grassroots through to high performance.”
Dueck needs no introduction to Kimberley residents,having been a one-man highlight reel in recent years, with a Paralympic silver medal, world championship wins, X-Games gold medals, and of course his historic backflip in his sitski last year.
He is widely credited for not only excelling as a disabled athlete, but as an example of living life to the fullest despite a disability.