Stilwell honoured to carry the flag
Direct from New Zealand, a heartfelt e-mail Thursday from Michelle Stilwell.
“The choice of a flag bearer is often seen as a sacred trust — an honour bestowed on those who represent not only the athletes at the games, but Canadians across our country, she wrote, adding, “the decision cannot be taken lightly, and the person selected has to be just right.
“There are many qualified athletes on our team who deserve the honour to carry the Canadian flag,” she said, and for these World Championship games in Christchurch, that honour has indeed been given to the 36-year-old wheelchair racer.
“This is one of the greatest honours of my sporting career,” she said, adding, “for many years I have had the privilege to represent Canada at multiple international competitions. I have been inspired by my fellow athletes and I have always strived for excellence, pushing myself further than I thought I could and harder than many people wanted me to.
“Tomorrow at noon I will carry our country’s flag at the opening ceremony of the 2011 World Championships in Para-Athletics with incredible pride and great emotion.”