Monday, February 15, 2010
Alex Bilodeau did what no other Canadian has ever done before....on Canadian soil....he won a gold medal in Mens' Moguls. Outstanding. Incredible.
But, what makes him a hero is not necessarily the fact that he won the competition. Bilodeau is a role model and hero because of how he holds his brother Frederic, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, up as his inspiration and how he explicitly talks about how important his family is in his life. It would be so easy to be embarassed of his brother, but he sees Frederic as the source of life's lessons. How can anything be difficult when he sees the challenges that Frederic overcomes each and every day? What a way to see the glass as half-full. For more on Bilodeau's character, read Christie Blatchford's great article on Bilodeau (http://www.ctvolympics.ca/news-centre/newsid=41947.html?cid=rss).
Prior to the Games, Bilodeau was interviewed and said he knows Canada will get rid of the monkey on its back early, by winning a gold medal on the first day of competition - i.e. he was alluding to the fact that Jenn Heil was the favourite in her discipline. Don't get me wrong, he was very confident, but he was also modest and extremely supportive of his teammates.
When you think about how he treats Frederic, his family and his teammates, I wish more of our so called "superstar" athletes would follow Bilodeau's lead and conduct themselves as he does. What a terrific role model for our youth.
Finally, further to my comments yesterday about watching these Games with a big crowd.....how everything is a bit more exciting.....I had the privilege of watching the moguls competition at the home of Jamie and Laurie Stewart, with their extended family. It was exciting having a dozen people celebrate Bilodeau's win and hearing the enthusiasm and support for Canada.
Go Canada go.