That’s what was written on a banner placed over the doorway of a room at the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau on Saturday afternoon in honour of Joyce Gosselin and her accomplishments at the 2005 Special Olympics Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
Gosselin won three medals—one gold and two silver—in the three events she was entered in the snowshoe competition.
So it was only fitting that she be congratulated for it.
With pictures lining the room, a casual observer was able to see glimpses of Gosselin’s sporting and personal life.
There was Joyce and fellow teammates in P.E.I. in the biggest snowstorm ever, Joyce shown with her fellow Team Canada teammates, Joyce and Team Canada, Joyce receiving her Citizen of the Year Award, Joyce showing off her medals, Joyce with her coaches, Gaby Hanzuk and Connie Wood, and Joyce going off to Nagano.
“Those pictures have been taken of her through the years, and some of them are almost 10 years old,” noted Hanzuk, who was Gosselin’s snowshoeing coach along with Wood.
“So what we did is we [along with Connie Wood and Roz Calder] all got together and put the pictures together, and then decided which ones to use,” Hanzuk added.
And landing in Winnipeg, the first person Gosselin saw at the airport was her long-time coach in Hanzuk. “There were tears at the airport when I picked her up,” Hanzuk recalled.
“We worked really hard in getting her ready for the Olympics, and I just told her that all I cared about was that she behave and not get hurt, and getting medals was just a bonus,” she added.
A table decorated with newspaper clippings and Gosselin’s various medals and plaques had been set out Saturday. And Gosselin was not shy in showing her medals and telling people of her trip to Japan, as well as other trips she has been on.
“This is really nice and I’m pretty happy about this,” said Gosselin. “I’m trying to spend time with everyone that comes, and so far it’s a good crowd.”
Indeed it was, since Gosselin had invited dozens of people to the event that lasted a few hours on an especially nice and sunny Saturday afternoon. And those on hand were smiling not because of the weather outside, but for the reason they had gathered inside.
They were there for the 58-year-old Gosselin and what she has done not only herself, but Fort Frances, too.
“I don’t think she was really surprised that we did this for her, but she was very happy,” said Hanzuk.
“It’s nice to have people come out, and I’ve been looking forward to this for a while,” Gosselin said, a smiled stretched across her face.