As the parade wound through the downtown core, Wilkie’s supporters followed close behind, many proudly carrying signs bearing messages of support and congratulations. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Photos: Salmon Arm celebrates Paralympic champion Natalie Wilkie

Hometown hero welcomed home with parade, recognition ceremony at city hall

Salmon Arm welcomed home Paralympic champion Natalie Wilkie in style on March 23 with a parade through the downtown core followed by a recognition ceremony at city hall.

The streets were brimming with excited chatter as the 11:30 a.m. mark rolled around and the Salmon Arm and Ranchero Fire Department trucks carrying Wilkie and her entourage started making their way onto the streets. As soon as she came into view, the crowd erupted in applause and cheers, thrilled to see their new hometown hero back in Salmon Arm after her eventful outing to PyeongChang for the Paralympics.

Related: Wilkie returns home with three medals in tow

After winding its way through downtown, the convoy made its last stop in front of city hall, followed closely by a throng of supporters waving them along. Wilkie disembarked and was immediately mobbed by excited friends and family eager to get the first photo or hug from the young skier.

Related: Salmon Arm cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins gold medal

Mayor Nancy Cooper and Coun. Ken Jamieson then joined Wilkie, her sisters and her mother Karin Huster in front of city hall. They presented Wilkie with an honorary key to the city, a certificate of recognition for her achievements, as well as a bouquet of red and white flowers to symbolize Team Canada’s colours.

Gerry Thomas of the Neskonlith band also spoke a few words of congratulation to Wilkie on behalf of local indigenous groups, expressing pride in how she represented the community.

The 17-year-old Paralympic gold medallist now returns to life in Salmon Arm, leaving her international exploits behind her. For now, at least.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The final leg of the parade closed in on city hall, where a large crowd formed to greet them and attend a recognition ceremony by Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper and Coun. Ken Jamieson. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Gerry Thomas spoke a few words of congratulations on behalf of local indigenous groups, expressing pride that Wilkie helped bring the Shuswap to the world stage. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

The crowd in front of city hall was eager to press close and snap photos of Paralympic champion Natalie Wilkie and the gold medal displayed proudly around her neck. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Wilkie was joined by her mother, Karin Huster, during the ceremony at city hall. The pair were all smiles throughout the event, basking in the community pride directed their way. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Councillor Ken Jamieson and Mayor Nancy Cooper presented Natalie Wilkie with an honorary key to the city, painted gold to match her first Paralympic gold medal. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

As the celebrations came to a close, Wilkie spoke a few words of humble thanks to the crowd of friends, family and supporters, saying she was grateful for their support and everything they have done to show their pride in her accomplishments. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Revelstoke Grizzlies win two

The Revelstoke Grizzlies played the Princeton Posse on home ice on Friday… Continue reading

In depth: Simple falls causing serious injuries to people over 65

Kelowna’s high population of seniors puts it in the spotlight for how it deals with seniors’ issues

Columbia Basin Trust funds $1 million in environment grants

Reptiles, grizzlies and more to benefit from the projects

Revelstoke Community Choir presents Candy Canes & Carols

The Revelstoke Community Choir presented their annual Christmas performance on Sunday and… Continue reading

Funding available for caribou habitat restoration

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is now accepting grant applications

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says up to 25 cm expected by Monday night

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Trump to meet with Democrats about border wall, shutdown

US president wants $5 billion for border wall, while Democrats offer up about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures

Okanagan film set to stream across North America

The Orchard is going to be streaming on all major platforms

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Most Read