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DATE: January 8, 2010 7:00:00 AM PST
U.S. Olympian, Canadian Paralympian to speak Jan. 26 at WWU
Canadian Paralympian also will speak at Wade King Elementary School

Contacts:

Ralph Vernacchia, director of the Center for Performance Excellence, (360) 650-3514 or ralph.vernacchia@wwu.edu

Tina Storer, education and curriculum specialist with the Center for Canadian-American Studies, (360) 650-7370 or tina.storer@wwu.edu

 

BELLINGHAM – Erin Porter Bembry, a short track speed skater who competed for the United States in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and Donovan Tildesley, a Canadian swimmer and multiple medalist who, blind since birth, competed in the past three Summer Paralympics, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, in Arntzen Hall Room 100 on the Western Washington University campus.

The athletes’ presentations are part of a series of events sponsored by the Center for Canadian-American Studies and the Center for Performance Excellence at WWU in relation to the 2010 Olympic Games being held in February in Vancouver.

At this event, Bembry and Tildesley will tell WWU students and the community of their history as athletes and inform them of the values of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, the challenges of world record athleticism and the importance of striving for excellence in life.

Tildesley also will be speaking at 1:15 p.m. Jan. 26 during the “Go for the Gold” Assembly at Wade King Elementary School in Bellingham. That event is part of the weeklong Olympics Days event sponsored by WWU.

Bembry, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is currently pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Washington. She competed in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter short track speed skating events in Nagano, Japan, and Salt Lake City.

Tildesley, who has been blind since birth, won multiple medals in swimming events at the Paralympic Summer Games in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). He holds world records in the 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle swimming events, and he has won gold, silver and bronze medals in the Paralympics. He was the flagbearer for Canada at the 2006 Olympic Games in Beijing. Tildesley earned his bachelor’s degree in English history from the University of British Columbia in 2008. For more on Tildesley, visit http://www.limitlessvision.ca/.

This event and the Olympics Days events are sponsored by WWU’s Center for Canadian-American Studies, Center for Performance Excellence, Border Policy Research Institute and Department of Physical Education, Health, and Recreation. For more information, contact Ralph Vernacchia, director of the Center for Performance Excellence, at (360) 650-3514 or ralph.vernacchia@wwu.edu.

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