Weightlifter Christine Girard is Summer Games-bound. She received a jacket from the City of White Rock Monday.

Weightlifter Christine Girard is Summer Games-bound. She received a jacket from the City of White Rock Monday.

Olympic send-off for local athletes

Weightlifter Christine Girard and swimmer Hilary Caldwell are set to travel to London for the Summer Games.

Two local athletes gearing up to compete in the Summer Games in London this August received special recognition from White Rock city council last week.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to give our Olympic athletes a bit of a send-off,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said, following a presentation to weightlifter Christine Girard and swimmer Hilary Caldwell (who couldn’t make the meeting, but whose parents attended in her stead).

Girard, 27, qualified for the 2012 Games in March, when she won gold at the Western Canadian Weightlifting Championships in the 63-kilogram weight class with a 236-kg total lift (102 kg snatch, 134 clean-and-jerk). She holds all Canadian records in that weight class, Baldwin noted.

Caldwell, a South Surrey native who now lives and trains in Victoria, punched her ticket to the Games after placing second in the women’s 200-metre backstroke during national team trials in Montreal in April. Her time of two minutes and 9.1 seconds also set a B.C. senior provincial record.

In accepting a gift from council members – including a jacket monogrammed with the city’s My City by the Sea logo – Girard promised to “do my best” in London.

“Hopefully, it’ll be a good show,” she said.