Returning Olympian Gets Hero’s Welcome, Brings Home Bronze
Participates in Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria
CLAREMONT, NH--Several dozen people turned out Monday night to welcome home Eric Lemieux from his recent trip to Austria to compete in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games. He was selected to compete after winning three gold medals at the Regional Winter Games in Lyme, NH, at the Dartmouth Skiway in 2016. He is a member of the Claremont Coolcats Special Olympics team; he qualified to participate in several snowshoeing competitions in Austria. Lemieux, 26, is the son of Mike and Beth Lemieux and has been an active athlete in several sports for many years.
Eric Lemieux on the podium getting the Bronze Medal (Courtesy photo).
Lemieux flew out of Manchester on March 12 with the area program coordinator Butch Beers of the Connecticut River Valley Special Olympics. Also making the trip was Ellie Coe of Hopkinton, another New Hampshire Special Olympian competing in the Austrian games, along with Lemieux. Lemieux’s parents and a sister flew to Austria the following day to see their son/brother in competition. The host cities included Graz and Schladming. While there the family had the opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery, including the majestic Alps.
The Alps made a spectacular background while on a sightseeing trip (Courtesy photo).
On Monday night some 50 + family members and friends of Lemieux gathered in Broad St. Park to welcome him home from his Austrian adventure. He arrived back in Claremont around 10:00 p.m., bringing home the Bronze Medal he earned in the Snowshoeing 200M race. There was no shortage of smiles all around during the homecoming which had been organized as a surprise. He participated in other events during the competition, including the Snowshoeing 4X 100M Relay, placing 3rd, and the Snowshowing 100M Race, placing 6th.
Eric with his parents, Mike and Beth Lemieux, at the Monday night homecoming (Bill Binder photo).