New Brunswick para-nordic skier Louis Fortin, who will be competing at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, received a rousing send-off Thursday from students at Fredericton's École les Bâtisseurs.
Fortin lost his right arm, collarbone and shoulder blade to bone cancer at 14.
He started competing in cross-country skiing in 2010. The next year Fortin won two silver medals at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
Since then, Fortin has competed in world cup events.
Now, he's headed to the Paralympic Winter Games.
Students gathered to cheer him on and to give him handmade cards wishing him luck.
"It's a good feeling to know, like when you're training and all that, you feel alone. You feel that what you're doing is just you. But then, a big thing like that happens, like the Olympics and you know that everybody's behind you and everybody wants to come with you, I guess also," Fortin said.
Fortin said he's pumped up to compete.
"I guess it's starting to pour in now that I'm really leaving. I've been working until yesterday. This is my first day of not working and then getting ready to leave. So it's really overwhelming," he said.
The children were excited too, according to kindergarten teacher Mireille Gaudet.
"It's [a] wonderful experience to meet a Paralympian. And as you see, the excitement is very, very high. They prepared some gifts, some messages, to help him along his journey. And the children took great pleasure in doing that."
Fortin will be competing in the sprint and middle-distance cross-country skiing.
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games run from March 7 to 16.