Mon, September 23, 2013

Whitfield surprises mom

By TIM BAINES, QMI Agency



OTTAWA - Simon Whitfield is pretty good at keeping secrets from his mom, Linda.

While the rest of the family was in on Thursday’s announcement that Simon will be Canada’s flag-bearer in the Olympic opening ceremony July 27 in London, the 37-year-old triathlete wanted it to be a big surprise for his mother.

While media and some onlookers were gathering at the Eternal Flame on Parliament Hill, with Simon arriving in a London-style cab, Linda was just finding out what the event was. Surprise!

It wasn’t the first time he had pulled the wool over her eyes.

In 2002, Simon invited her to a “video launch” in Victoria, B.C. Nothing special.

So Linda arrived at the Empress Hotel with Simon. A lady appeared and said: “Simon, the Queen is waiting for you.”

“There were about 400 guests and I would suggest they all had more advance notice why they were there than me,” Linda said with a laugh.

As they shook hands, the Queen said to Linda: “Isn’t this better than what (Simon) said you were going to do today?”

Whitfield is obviously grounded — from a close family also consisting of his father Geoffrey and sister Kate. His introduction to triathlon came with his family alongside, honing his early competitive skills in the Kids of Steel program.

While he was competitive, he still managed to learn from failures, along with the successes.

“He figured out early that the sun would still come up the next day,” said Geoffrey.

tim.baines@sunmedia.ca

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