Whitfield to skate, speak

Olympic gold medallist Simon Whitfield will be in White Rock Dec. 30 to skate

One of Canada’s most celebrated amateur athletes will be in White Rock Wednesday, sharing his story of Olympic glory with the community.

Simon Whitfield, who won a gold medal in triathlon at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, will take part in a community skate at Centennial Arena, followed by an invitation-only reception at the White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.).

The skate, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., is open to the public.

After the skate, Whitfield – who lives in Victoria – will speak at the reception, where he will share the story of his Olympic gold medal. He also won silver in triathlon at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

The reception begins at 3:30 p.m. A meet-and-greet and autograph session will follow his speech.

It was Whitfield’s gold-medal performance, however, that many Canadian sports fans will remember.

In that race, Whitfield – a pre-race underdog – crashed along with 14 others during the cycling portion of the race, only to pull himself back into contention during the run. In the final metres of the run – the third and final leg of the event – Whitfield passed German triathlete Stephan Vuckovic to take gold.