Events in Vancouver, Ottawa held to honour London 2012 AthletesVANCOUVER / OTTAWA, Jan. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, 70 of Canada's Olympians, Paralympians, coaches and builders gathered in both Vancouver and Ottawa to honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Recipients were awarded their medal by the Minister of State (Sport), the Honourable Bal Gosal and Minister Gordon O'Connor, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip. " London 2012 was special for every single member of the Team and receiving the Diamond Jubilee medal tells me that what we accomplished is special in the eyes of those Canadians who cheered us on in London," said Olympic bronze-medallist swimmer, Brent Hayden, who was also recently named to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, where Friday's event took place. "Today is also a humbling reminder that athletes aren't just doing this for ourselves; we're out there training and competing for our communities and our country. What we do means a lot to Canadians and this medal will be a reminder to all of us of the impact that we can have." "It's an amazing honour to receive a Diamond Jubilee medal," said Jason Dunkerley, who won silver and bronze medals in athletics at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. "It's something that I'll look back at and cherish for ever. I owe the chance to represent Canada and to medal in London to the incredible support of the people around me -- my wife Colleen, my guide runner Josh Karanja, my coach Ian Clark, family and friends. I'd like to thank these people for being a part of this honour and for supporting me to do something that I love." "I was born in England shortly after Queen Elizabeth became Queen, and attended her coronation in a pram!" said former Paralympic women's wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick. "Our family came to Canada in 1957 and since that time we have been grateful for the opportunities and experiences we have received. To me, the Queen symbolizes loyalty and service to our country and the Commonwealth, and I am proud to have contributed to the Paralympic movement. The Jubilee medal is indeed an impressive public honour, but to me it has extra special meaning on a personal level." "It is so wonderful to see this new generation of Canadian Olympians being honoured like this," said Canadian Olympic Committee Board Member and Olympic Silver Medallist, Charmaine Crooks. "It's such a pleasure for me to be here with them as they're recognized for their incredible efforts." "With celebrations like this, we can see how Canada's Olympic athletes are, more and more, having a real and recognized impact on our great country," said Canadian Olympic Committee Immediate Past President and Board Member, Michael Chambers. "I couldn't be more proud to be here with them to celebrate this special day." "I am sincerely proud and thrilled to be recognized with such a significant award," said David Legg, President, Canadian Paralympic Committee. "I have loved every minute of my association with the Paralympic Movement and that is perhaps reward enough, however being recognized with such luminaries is a distinct pleasure." The Diamond Jubilee medals provide an opportunity to honour exceptional Canadians for their contributions to their fellow citizens, communities and country. During the year of celebrations, 60,000 deserving Canadians from across the country and various walks of life will be recognized.