SPORTS

Last hurrah: Dozens of London athletes to attend Olympic Heroes Parade

09/20/2012 10:25 EDT | Updated 11/20/2012 05:12 EST
TORONTO - Life is pretty much back to normal for Canada's lone gold medallist at the London Olympics.

Rosie MacLennan, who took top spot in the women's trampoline competition, has resumed her studies and is back training again at her local gym. She's working on her masters degree in exercise science at the University of Toronto and is staying sharp physically ahead of the next trampoline season.

MacLennan is getting back in the Olympic spirit this week. She'll be a star attraction Friday when the Olympic Heroes Parade runs through the downtown core ahead of a celebration outside Air Canada Centre. She's expected to be joined by about 200 Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed in London.

Helped no doubt by the flood of interviews and press, the 24-year-old from King City, Ont., said she gets recognized more often. But what excites her more is the possibility that more people will take up trampoline after her victory.

"I'm hoping that the familiarity with my sport has grown and that the interest and participation has grown," MacLennan said in a recent interview. "I know that a number of people have enrolled in classes at my gym for the first time."

MacLennan, who finished seventh at the 2008 Games in Beijing, came through with a brilliant performance at the North Greenwich Arena last month. She had 57.305 points to finish ahead of two Chinese competitors.

MacLennan said that her good friend Karen Cockburn — a three-time Olympic medallist who just missed the podium in London — deserves a lot of credit for bringing attention to the sport.

"I'm hoping to continue to grow that popularity and interest," MacLennan said. "Hopefully it will get kids to see that it's a great way to stay active and challenge yourself and it's a lot more fun than just going for a run.

"But I think a lot more people are starting to understand what our sport is whereas when it started out in 2000, people had no idea what to expect when watching a trampoline competition."

Friday's parade and celebration will cap a busy week for the athletes. On Wednesday, they were feted at the House of Commons. They also visited schools in the Ottawa region.

MacLennan is looking forward to catching up with her London teammates.

"Things kind of wrap up fairly quickly at the Games," she said. "So it'll be a great opportunity for the athletes to come together again and just share their experiences post-Games and reconnect."

Canada won one gold, five silver and 12 bronze medals in London to finish 13th in the overall standings with 18 medals. That was just below the Canadian Olympic Committee's target of a top-12 finish.

"The feeling here in Canada about what we achieved over there is very, very positive," said COC president Marcel Aubut. "You will see that on Friday."

At the Paralympics, Canada finished 13th in the overall standings with 31 medals: seven gold, 15 silver and nine bronze.

Also Friday, the 2012 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame will induct three Olympic champions: cross-country skier Beckie Scott, wrestler Daniel Igali and freestyle skier Jean-Luc Brassard. The 2010 men’s hockey team and 2006 women’s hockey team will also be inducted in the team category at the evening ceremony.

Synchronized swimming coach Julie Sauve will be inducted in the builders category along with freestyle ski pioneer Sarah Burke, who will be posthumously enshrined for her trailblazing work in the sport.

Former COC president Michael Chambers will receive the Canadian Olympic Order, recognizing his contributions to the Olympic movement in Canada.

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