Athletics greats announcing their retirement in 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
OTTAWA - Athletics Canada reflects on the many great athletes who retired from competition in 2010; among them Charles Allen, Dean Bergeron, Mark Ledo, Nicolas Macrozonaris, Jacques Martin, Jessica Matassa and Gary Reed.
Head coach of the Olympic stream, Alex Gardiner notes “Charles Allen has had a memorable career as a versatile speed athlete having world class talent in the 110-metre hurdles and as a relay runner. Charles will be best remembered for his unselfishness in Athens when he ran with the relay team before the final of his hurdle race and probably gave up a chance at the podium; a true team player.” Gardiner adds “Nic Macrozonaris showed all young sprinters that Canadians could compete with the best. Never short on energy and enthusiasm Nic pushed the envelope for all 100m athletes during his time.” On Gary Reed; “From beginning to end Gary’s story truly is Made in Canada. Gary embraced and built a belief that he could be the best in the world. Gary’s journey has shown all of us in Canadian athletics that anything is possible.”
Ozzie Sawicki, Para-Athletics Head Coach on the retirees: “The group of athletes retiring from the Para-Athletics program, including Dean, Mark, Jacque and Jessica, have certainly generated a legacy of performance expectation within the program moving forward. These individuals have contributed a great deal to Para-Athletics during their tenure and I believe that our current national team will continue to embrace performance excellence as was the goal of these four retirees.
Ottawa, Ontario’s Charles Allen announced early on in 2010 that he was stepping away from competition. Allen’s most notable performances include a 6th place finish in the 110-metre hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Other highlights include a bronze medal as a member of the 4x100-metre relay team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and a 4th place finish in the 110-metre hurdles at those same games. Allen is a 6-time Canadian Champion; he holds five in the hurdles (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007) and one in the 400-metres (1995).
St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC’s Dean Bergeron competed in four Paralympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) winning three gold, three silver and five bronze medals over distances from 100 to 1500-metres. Dean retires as the 200-metres world record holder as well as the Canadian record holder in the T52 wheelchair classification 200, 400, 800 and 1500-metres.
Ledo, of Maple, ON, retires from wheelchair racing after having competed at the 2008 Paralympic Games. He competed in Beijing, China in the T54 classification 5000-metres and in the marathon.
Officially announcing his retirement in September, Nicolas Macrozonaris of Laval, QC steps off the track as Canada’s third fastest man in the 100-metres. In 2001 he ran a blazing 10.03 in Mexico, a performance that is only bested by Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin. Macrozonaris was a member of numerous international teams including the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.
St-Denis-de-Brompton, QC’s Jacques Martin retires after 28 years of competition. His impressive career spanned six Paralympic Games highlighted by 9 medals in seated throws including the discus, javelin and shot put. Martin holds the distinction as the first para-athletics athlete to capture a medal in throwing events at the Commonwealth Games. Today Martin still holds the F55 throwing (discus, javelin, shot put) Canadian records.
Windsor, ON native Jessica Matassa took the year off from competition and ultimately came to the decision to retire from wheelchair racing. The T54 classification wheelchair racer represented Canada in the last two Paralympic Games; she won bronze at the 2004 Games in the 800-metres.
Two-time Olympian and World championship silver medallist Gary Reed officially announced his retirement from competition earlier this week. Reed retires as one of Canada’s greatest middle distance runners as well as the 800-metre Canadian record holder (indoor and outdoor), as a 6-time Canadian Champion (2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003), a two-time Olympian (2004, 2008) and a five-time member of World Championship teams (2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009). His best performances include a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships and a 4th place finish at the 2008 Olympic Games.
- AC -
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