On September 21, Toronto played host to the 2012 Olympic Heroes Parade and Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala. Having spent 17 days of my summer cheering on the Canadian Olympic team at the London 2012 Summer Games and feeling like I was practically BFFs with each and every one of our athletes already, I knew I had to be there for the celebrations. Besides, I wanted to see for myself whether on-field prowess translates into off-field sartorial genius. I wasn’t disappointed.
Speed skating legend Catriona Le May Doan chose a golden (the very best Olympic colour) mini dress for her gala co-hosting duties with Ben Mulroney. Kaylyn Kyle, a midfielder on the women’s Olympic soccer team donned a LBD and statement necklace, which she wore in favour of her bronze medal, for the occasion. The men were on top of their sartorial game too. Swimmer and bronze medal winner in the 100-metre freestyle Brent Hayden looked incredibly dapper in a classic black tuxedo and matching bow tie.
Outfits aside, it was a truly epic night, as wrestler Daniel Igali, freestyle skier Jean-Luc Brassard, synchronized swimming coach Julie Sauve, cross-country skier Beckie Scott, the late Sarah Burke, the 2006 women’s Olympic hockey team and the 2010 men’s Olympic hockey team were all inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. “I grew up being told by my grandmother that dreams should be a size too big so we could fit into them,” Igali told gala guests. Thanks to him, my lovely seatmate and javelin thrower Liz Gleadle, and the other inspiring athletes in attendance, I’m now dreaming bigger dreams too.