Former Olympic freestyle skier Kristi Richards and Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino were honoured for outstanding achievements on Friday when they were presented with Diamond Jubilee Medals.
The ceremony was held at Summerland Middle School, which supported Richards during her Olympic skiing career.
Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas said Richards received the medal because of her achievement in the sport and as a leader in the community.
“Kristi Richards is an example to all of us,” he said.
“Kristi was determined and focussed on her goal.”
Richards’ list of skiing accomplishments includes winning the Canadian championships in 2003, finishing seventh in ladies’ moguls at the 2006 Winter Olympics, winning gold at the 2007 Freestyle Skiing world championships and winning bronze at the 2011 World Championships.
In 2010, she competed at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. After qualifying in fourth place, she lost control on a jump and fell. She completed her run, but because of the fall, finished in 20th place and last in the final.
Albas said completing the run showed her character.
“The lesson for all of us is to never be afraid, never give up and always finish what you started,” he said.
Richards has now retired from competitive skiing and is running an artisan shop and yoga studio. She is also studying holistic nutrition.
Speaking to students at the middle school, Richards urged them to reach for their goals.
“The Olympics to me is about going after your true potential. I can walk away proud that I stepped up to my potential and more,” she said. “Just go out there and believe in yourselves.”
Perrino was also recognized with a Diamond Jubilee Medal for her service to the community.
Albas said Perrino has demonstrated a strong work ethic with the B.C. Cancer Foundation, in her role as chair of the Regional Hospital District and as Summerland’s mayor.
“What I most appreciate about Mayor Perrino is her amazing amount of positive energy and can-do attitude,” Albas said.
A total of 60,000 Canadians are receiving the Diamond Jubilee Medals, which are being given to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne 60 years ago.
The medals are being presented to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have made significant contributions.