2 new honours, 1 'big week!' for Paralympic champion Katarina Roxon
Named to Canada's Commonwealth Games team and Order of N.L.
Paralympic gold medallist Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., got a double shot of good news this past week.
She was chosen to swim in the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, and she was named to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This will be Roxon's third Commonwealth Games, so she said she's a veteran this time.
"The first Games I went to there was two of us, and I was the baby of the group," she said.
The second time there were three athletes: Roxon and two of her closest friends.
"Now there's 11 of us, so it's getting bigger with adding more paras into the Commonwealth Games. So it's getting exciting!"
"I'm pretty much the grandma of the team. Everyone, especially the younger girls, they kind of call me 'Mom,'" Roxon said.
The 24-year-old paralympic athlete said the Commonwealth Games are unique in how they integrate "the paras and the Olympic guys."
"The atmosphere is completely different to any Games you've been to, because I think it's huge that the able-bodied side gets to see how the para side works, and same, vice versa."
'I'm going to give it my all'
Roxon is home training in Stephenville, which she said is probably her favourite place to be.
"It's the atmosphere and the people, and the fact that it's home. Home is where you feel your most comfortable"
With the Commonwealth Games coming up and the Pan-Pacific Championships in August, Roxon said she'll "take it meet by meet" and train hard in and out of the pool.
Definitely one of the biggest honours I've received- Katarina Roxon
"I'm going to give it my all," she said.
And she was thrilled to receive another special honour this week: being named to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
"It's exciting, it's such an honour to be named alongside so many amazing people," said Roxon.
"For me to be able to get this at 24 years old … definitely one of the biggest honours I've ever received, for sure."
Roxon, Terence S. Goodyear, Dr. Falah B. Maroun, Robert Mellin, Wayne Miller, Kathy Pratt LeGrow, Marie E. Ryan and Frederick David Smallwood will be invested into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador at a ceremony at Government House in St. John's at the end of the month.
With files from Carolyn Stokes