Stars from Canada's Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic teams have been honoured by Members of Parliament as they visited the House of Commons in the capital Ottawa on the first day of the Celebration of Excellence tour.
The visit to the House of Commons came before the Canadian Governor General David Johnston welcomed the athletes to Rideau Hall for a special reception.
"Canada's athletes performed so well in Sochi and really made Canada proud," said the Canadian Minister of State for Sport, Bal Gosal.
"It has been a pleasure to welcome the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams to Parliament Hill - they deserve this great honour."
Prior to that, athletes started the day with a breakfast hosted by Ottawa Tourism, before those athletes and coaches who medalled at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games were awarded with cheques by the Canadian Olympic Committee in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada and the Globe and Mail news agency.
The day continued with a marathon visit to 36 schools across the Ottawa area.
"It has been absolutely amazing spending time with kids at Charlotte-Lemieux elementary public school today as part of the 2014 Celebration of Excellence," commented snowboarder Dominique Maltais, who won silver in Sochi.
"It is a real honour getting to give back to the communities throughout Canada who have supported us so strongly on our Olympic journeys."
Athletes also visited children and families at Manoir Ronald McDonald House Ottawa, celebrating the Olympic spirit and helping them mark their 30th anniversary with a special tree-planting ceremony.
The Manoir Ronald McDonald House provides support for families of children with critical illnesses.
It was a special moment for Para-snowboarder and Sochi 2014 competitor John Leslie, whose parents spent a year in Manoir Ronald McDonald House when he was undergoing treatment for cancer at the age of 11.
"It was pretty cool to go back and visit Ronald McDonald House," said Leslie.
"If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be back here with a bunch of Olympians and Paralympians, it would have been hard to believe, but it's nice to know that the support that the House provides allows people to reach their goals.
"Keep a smile on your face and no dream is too big."
Tomorrow will see the tour make its way through Banff, Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary, visiting more schools and hospitals before the Sochi 2014 Parade of Champions takes place in the City of Calgary on Friday (June 6) prior to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the Saddledome indoor arena.
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