Creston’s first ever Olympic athlete wants his hometown fans to know that he appreciates the support given during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio di Janeiro.
Gord Perrin, one of the surprisingly strong Canadian men’s volleyball team’s top players, relayed his sentiments through his dad, Dave Perrin.
“Will you ask Lorne to pass on my thanks to the people of Creston for all the support they gave me and the rest of my mates during the Games,” he said via text message from Poland on the weekend. “At first we were told to avoid all social media and drown out all the noise so we could focus on our game, but when I finally checked it out I was blown away!”
Perrin stopped in at the Advance last week to extend his own appreciation.
“We really had no idea of what was going on here in Creston for the first while,” he said.
Perrin attended the Olympic Games with his ex-wife, Ruth Boehmer, and their daughter, Alicia, and wrote blogs that were reproduced in the Advance.
“It was really gratifying to learn about all the signs around town and how much local interest there was in the volleyball games.”
After not having qualified for the Olympic Games since 1992, Team Canada entered the Rio games as the 10th seed and ended up tying for fifth spot overall, chalking up huge upsets over the United States and Italy before losing its quarter final match against Russia. The Russians lost in their bronze medal match to the US, while Brazil beat Italy for the gold medal.
Dave Perrin spoke in glowing terms about his family’s experience in Rio.
“I think a lot of the criticism that was played up in the American media was unfounded and unfair,” he said. “Sure, there were some problems with facilities and their were some transportation issues, but Rio de Janeiro is a large city and that’s to be expected.
“We were very impressed with the friendliness of Brazilians, despite the language barrier. We were often stopped by people in the street when we wore our Canadian gear and they were unfailingly friendly and happy to see so many visitors from around the world.”
Perrin said the experience of spending time at Canada House, near where they stayed, was a special one, with a number of Canadian medalists making visits to show off their medals and chat with supporters.
“It really was a trip of a lifetime to see Gord and his team on the world stage,” he said. “They played really well and gave it everything they had.”
Gord Perrin didn’t have much time to sit back and enjoy his Olympic experience after the Games were over. He flew back to Canada to pack up and head overseas to Europe. He has already begun practice with his new team in Poland, after playing in Italy last year.
“I haven’t had much of a chance to talk to him, just to know that they gave him an apartment in a new complex and a brand new car,” Dave said.
Dave is already planning a trip this winter, not only to see Gord play in Poland, but to take in a game or two in Turkey, where Alicia will be playing her second professional season after a year in Greece.