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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir hold parade, concert as thank you for hometown fans

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history, held a parade and a concert Saturday as a way of saying 'thank you' to their fans and their hometown of Ilderton, Ont. for all their support.

Fans lined the main street to meet the skating stars

How Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say 'thank you' to their fans 1:01

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history, held a parade and a concert Saturday as a way of saying thank you to their fans and their hometown of Ilderton, Ont. for all their support. 

Virtue and Moir were catapulted into international stardom after they pulled off a record-setting performance in Pyeongchang, winning five medals, including two sets of gold to become the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history.

People young and old braved the molten sun and wilting August heat, packing the community's main street of Ilderton Road by the thousands on Saturday, to wave, take pictures or just get a glimpse of their hometown heroes. 

"I'm out to see our kids," said long-time Ilderton resident Frieda Powell, holding back tears. "They have done absolutely fantastic and we want to support them." 

Small town dreams

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir speak to the media at the Ilderton Arena Saturday, following a parade down the small Ontario town's main street. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

"We come from a small town," said Yvonne Debrabander, who drove more than an hour from Tillsonburg, Ont. with her daughter to see the athletes and teach a life lesson.

"Small towns have to stick together," she said. "When you have Olympic athletes like this, they're these girls' idols. Hard work pays off and small town dreams can come alive, which is why we're here from a hundred miles away on the hottest day of the summer." 

Others, like Maddie Cook, 14, see the Olympic pair as an example of how anyone can succeed in Canada, no matter where they're from. 

Thousands of people lined Ilderton Road, the main street of Ilderton, Ont. Saturday to see their hometown heroes, ice dancing champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

"No matter how small a town you come from, you can go as big as the Olympics," she said, noting seeing the pair helps her believe in herself. 

Virtue and Moir rode on a sky blue classic Ford Mustang convertible and waved as people from the crowd approached to take selfies, share words of encouragement and even give them flowers. 

"If we can inspire anyone to chase their dreams or to believe in themselves or to instill a sense of limitlessness, I think that's incredible," Virtue said. 

"It's a family day, we're really excited about that," Moir said. 

It seemed like the whole town of 1,800 people turned out Saturday for a parade and a concert in Ilderton, Ont., put on by Olympic ice dancing champions and hometown heroes Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

About the Author

Colin Butler

Video Journalist

Colin Butler is a veteran CBC reporter who's worked in Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and London, Ont. Email: colin.butler@cbc.ca