UPDATED: 'I wish I had a medal to show you guys.'

Jason Malloy
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Jared Connaughton of New Haven, Prince Edward Island arrives in Charlottetown Monday night

Jared Connaughton is hugged by well wishers and family in the Charlottetown airport when he returned home Monday after his appearance at the London Olympics.

Medal or not, Jared Connaughton has a special place in many Islanders’ hearts.

Nearly 150 people were at the Charlottetown Airport Monday night to welcome the two-time Olympian home from England. Islanders waved P.E.I. and Canadian flags and clapped as he came through the doors.

FOR VIDEO FROM CONNAUGHTON'S HOMECOMING CLICK HERE

“I wish I had a medal to show you guys,” he told the crowd.

“We came to see you, Jared,” one man said.

“Welcome home,” a woman shouted.

“We’re proud of you Jared,” another added.

FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM CONNAUGHTON'S HOMECOMING CLICK HERE

The 27-year-old was thrust into the national spotlight Saturday during the 4x100-metre relay. Running the third leg, the New Haven sprinter stepped on the border of his lane. He passed the baton and the team finished in 38.07, a bronze-medal winning time.

But a few minutes later it was announced Canada had been disqualified for the lane violation.

“Those 10 minutes, when we were bronze medalists at the Olympic Games, were magical and I will always have that,” Connaughton said.

Following the race Connaughton apologized on Twitter. It was retweeted 2,700 times, the most of any tweets that day.

Jane Quinn, Jared’s aunt, was the first person Connaughton hugged when he arrived Monday night.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Jared,” she said. “My heart is still kind of pounding a little bit.”

Heather Pratt has worked with Jared’s mother Susan for 30 years at the Bank of Montreal. She was like many across the province who watched Saturday’s race.

“At first elation and then devastation. My heart went out to Jared and (his father) Neal and Susan,” she said. “It was fairly upsetting but in the end (I felt) a lot of pride for Jared and how he handled himself. Knowing the young man he is, it doesn’t surprise me.”

Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis presented Connaughton with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

“Your on-track performance was worthy of bronze, your off-track performance has been golden,” he said.

You’re on-track performance was worthy of bronze, you’re off-track performance has been golden. Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis

Connaughton said he had not thought about the next Olympics, but said there are many competitions, including world championships, Pan-Am and Commonwealth Games, before the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

“I am so unbelievably drained emotionally,” he said, noting he planned to enjoy the next few weeks with family and friends.

He was appreciative of all the support he has received here and across the nation.

“You guys being here means more to me than maybe a medal ever would,” he said.

Connaughton had special message to young athletes.

“Some days you’re the dog and other days you’re the hydrant,” he said.

“Always keep your chin up. Be proud of your hard work and be proud of the good times and the bad.

“Sometimes the bad times wake you up to the good times you weren’t paying attention to. That was a pretty bad moment, but this makes it not so bad.”

He knows the day will come when Canada will make the podium in the event.

“This is going to make our team strong,” he said.

“Maybe I won’t be part of it in a few years, but we’re going to win a medal at a major championship with me there or not.”

Premier Robert Ghiz issued a statement welcoming Connaughton home.

“He exemplified the true spirit of a great Olympian, Canadian and Islander,” he said.

The province plans to host a formal celebration to recognize his accomplishment at a later date.

 

 

Memorable moment:

Jared Connaughton shared a moment with a young volunteer while warming up for a run at the Olympics in London. He shared his experience Monday night with members of the local media:

“I kind of patted him on the back and said ‘you’re doing a great job, you know?’ He said he had been there all week and no one said anything to him,” Connaughton said, pausing to compose himself, “that’s the stuff I think I will take from it.”

Organizations: Charlottetown Airport, Olympic Games

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Eve Marsalls
    August 16, 2012 - 16:26

    Jared seems like a nice young man, but he did cost Canada a bronze medal. Clearly he did not do this on purpose but all these bleeding hearts turning him into some kind of saint is very foolish. Save your praise for those that actually earned medals.

  • Shawn D
    August 15, 2012 - 14:34

    It is terrible that people only judge the results and not all the hard work and dedication of years of labour, along with the sacrifices to get to the olympics. YOU ARE THE FEW AND ELITE!! You would not remember me but I worked with your father and used to go golfing with Neal quite often. I personally met you when you were only 10. I have had the pleasure of having dinner in your home several times. I was a little better than average athlete that peaked in my sprinting in my mid twenties. I could run mid 11 second range for the 100. Neal would always comment how fast you could run at such a young age. I had the pleasure in fun to race you to the house because it was dinner time. AND I HAD TO RUN TO BEAT YOU!!!! I still remember the pride in your fathers eyes when he winked at me and said that boy will run in the olympics some day. Be proud and raise your chin up high, I am! you can be damn sure the people in your life that you care about are!! Dont let one race define such a great journey to get there.

  • Captain Canuck
    August 14, 2012 - 16:54

    To SIGHS: Is it all about being best and if you don't come home with the Gold you're a loser and have done a disservice, nay, a discrace? Then there are 8 billion losers, and you sir, came in 7,999,999,998th.

  • Anita Galandy
    August 14, 2012 - 15:35

    I'm proud of Jared as I'm sure 99% of Canadians are.

  • Richard K.
    August 14, 2012 - 15:21

    From childhood we have heard the phrase “It’s not whether you win or lose but it how you play the game”. On that unfortunate day, our Olympic 4X100 relay team gave that well-worn phrase new meaning and Jared added new depth on how to play the game. Truly a gold medal standard we should all aspire to in everything we do.

  • ROBIN
    August 14, 2012 - 11:53

    Congratulations Jared, you are one of the select few that work and train hard, make personal sacrifices and make it to the Olympics. PEI and CANADA are very proud of you. All the best in the future and we hope to see you compete in the next Olympics!!!

  • Marie
    August 14, 2012 - 10:43

    Jared, you are ALREADY gold in our eyes!!! Congratulations.

  • kb
    August 14, 2012 - 10:36

    People here in Ontario are proud of your efforts and achievement. To be an Olympian is a great honour. Hold your head high and be proud.

  • LCCM
    August 14, 2012 - 09:46

    I think more of this young man now than if he did come home with a medal.The way Jared himself on the world stage...very classy.As far as the trolls with the negative comments ... 2 words ... miserable life.

  • RoleModel
    August 14, 2012 - 08:56

    Gotta love anonymous comments, people get a big kick out of being jerks publicly, when they aren't held accountable. We are on vacation in Ontario and were in our hotels to watch Jared's relay run. So much fun! Gave my kids something to talk about, how the relay works, what fun it was to watch an Islander participate. And a bronze! Then a DQ. But best of all, to discuss with my kids how the DQ was handled by Jared and his team. How no team member wins alone, or loses alone. So many interesting discussions. Who cares! I know. A medal was in hand. But in my eyes he has retained is 'role model' status and that's important, as a parent. Congrats. Sucks you didn't get the medal (to quote my kids) but you were right there, right there, and Canada Olympic efforts will be bolstered by that time/result.

  • spudnik
    August 14, 2012 - 08:06

    Jared, you do the Island proud. The way you handled what many of us think was an unjust decision was truly classy.

  • Jody Bernard
    August 14, 2012 - 08:04

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Your little island is so very proud of you Jared and I hope that if you're reading these comments, you are skipping over the ones from those who do not share in our pride...they are the minority in all of this.

  • just getting there
    August 14, 2012 - 07:58

    just getting to the Olympics, proves you are more of a athlete than I could ever dream to be. Stepping on the line is a tough break for sure. At least you weren't DQ'd for doping!

  • Janet Gaudet
    August 14, 2012 - 07:21

    What a classy guy Jared is. He's very modest and is an excellent role model for young people. He doesn't need to apologize to anyone. Personally, I feel the decision by the judges was totally unfair. I watched the race and was so excited when the Canadians came in 3rd and then to see their victory snatched away from them was devestating. I'll be watching them in Rio and I hope Jared will be with them. I will be thrilled for him when he stands on the podium and receives a medal and I think it will happen. Congratulations, Jared, on representing Canada with so much class. I'm very proud that you're a fellow Islander.

  • New olympic fan
    August 14, 2012 - 07:14

    I just watched the video of his return to PEI. I also watched the race, this young man could be no better ambassador for PEI or Canada. When he spoke of that young volunteer and he teared up, it speaks volumes of his character. He may not have brought a medal home, however he is gold in our books.

  • Disgusted
    August 14, 2012 - 06:07

    I cannot believe all the hurtful remarks that have been made about Jarrod- He did something that very few Islanders can do He went to the Olympics ---- Those of you who are complaining probably cant run a 50 yd dash If you watched very much of the Olympics there was unfair judging in many sports Such as soccer Can USA game. Boxing with the boxer from NS Synco swimming Judges favour the big countries such as USA and China There were many instances in the Olympics where judging was suspect. Jarrod we are proud of you.

  • Don't feed David and Sigh
    August 14, 2012 - 00:24

    Unfortunately people like David and Sigh are so out to lunch that they thrive on the comments attacking them. Trolls like them are only after one thing - response to their comments. Don't feed the trolls are words to live by.

  • Doug McGrath
    August 14, 2012 - 00:19

    I hope all of the posters who are so negative realize they are in the minority judging by the comments praising jared. They are still losers.

  • Piet Hein
    August 14, 2012 - 00:11

    David and Sighs, it is too bad you have no compassion for your fellow humans. Jared made a mistake (as if you two have not ever made a mistake) and he took full responsibility for it. Not knowing you two except from your obnoxious posts I fully expect you would not do the same. What we have in the pair of you and others like you are people who probably have failed in most things you have tried and are overjoyed at being able to mock Jared because you see him as being everything you are not, but always wanted to be. But you have even lost at that. The vast majority of people see Jared Connaughton for what he is - a great guy who made a mistake, but immediately said he was sorry. By mocking him you are still out on the sidelines looking in and if you had bothered to go to the airport you would have seen a truly classy person. Something you two are truly not. Your lives can be summed up in one word - losers.

  • Good Job
    August 13, 2012 - 23:54

    I hate to be the one who has to speak the truth....... But "sighs"....... You are the prime example of why not all people should have access to electronics. Go back to your daily exercise routine of driving to Tim's.

  • Don
    August 13, 2012 - 23:14

    Trinidad and Tobago also stepped on the line but was not called on it.They said it didn't interfere with the other runners so it was let go.Funny how that works.

  • SG
    August 13, 2012 - 23:12

    My mother always said "it's one's character and effort that's most admired" and Jared certainly showed a great deal of both. You gave your Best and no one can expect more. Congrats on a Great Run.

  • Gerard
    August 13, 2012 - 22:40

    Please don't be too upset Jared, Canada as a whole don't have too much to brag about ONLY getting ONE gold medal. Not much of a performance as compared to outher countries. Canada needs to buck up and do much better.

    • Gaius
      August 14, 2012 - 00:15

      Oh Gerard, how many gold medals have you won in the past Olympics.? In fact, when was the last time you won at anything and i don't mean roll up the rim to win.

  • David
    August 13, 2012 - 22:11

    I don;t quite get all the fuss. The team failed and he failed prsonally. What is it now in sports in PEI even though you come in dead last because you were disqualified beacuse you broke the rules everyone else has to live by suddenl Islanders think he is a winner. One thing is for sure i doubt he will ever get another chance and hopefully the next Canadian Relay team at the next games will have people who follow the rules. The rules are the same for everyone.

    • bob from cardigan
      August 14, 2012 - 07:59

      He's only 27. Carl Lewis was running well into his 30's and still winning medals. At 31, Jared should be able to make it in the next Olympics.

    • Danielle
      August 14, 2012 - 10:22

      David, I suggest you go on UTube and look for Jared's interview after the race. He admits the mistake was his and is visibly heart broken. The interview is amazing! The "fuss" about Jared is that he made it to the Olympics (have you?) and he handled a heart breaking loss with amazing composure! Congrats Jared!

  • Joanne Adams
    August 13, 2012 - 21:42

    Why do some people have to be such jerks...He stepped on the line - he accepted that it was his fault- he owned up to it - he apologized to his team-mates AND the whole country...What more do you want from the guy...He feels like crap already...why kick a guy when he is down. Guess some folks have never made a mistake in their lives - or perhaps they just haven't admitted it! I say, good on you Jared.. You are a class act..Thanks!! .Proud to share your Island!!

  • .CJ
    August 13, 2012 - 21:35

    To "Sighs" ....you are a pathethic excuse for a human being and I am almost sure I speak for the majority of islanders. Jared has more class in his little figure than you apparently ever had. The CLASS and POISE that Jared has made Canadians proud. You "sighs" should be absolutely ashamed of yourself for the trash that you spewed.

  • Ed
    August 13, 2012 - 21:24

    I cant believe some of the negative comments here. That was a chincey call and Jared and his team mates clearly should have got the bronze medal. You didn't blow it Jared and you handled yourself in front of the cameras really well in spite of everything. You're still a hero and 99.9% of Canada is proud of you. And bye the way, did anyone else here that judge call Usain Bolt "boy" when he wanted to keep the baton as a souvenir?

  • urgh
    August 13, 2012 - 21:18

    As to your remark sigh, how many olympic games have you been to? How many times have you made a mistake? You must be perfect!!!! Well congrats to you for being so perfect maybe you should be in the next olympics!

  • Sighs
    August 13, 2012 - 20:49

    I hate to be the one here who has to speak the truth... But he blew the medal for PEI Let alone his team mates and the whole entire country... He didn't get the job done alone ... So he had to go and ruin the medal win for his team... Sad Sad Day to be him!

    • HOMER JAY
      August 13, 2012 - 21:27

      Spoken like a true Islander.....nothing but negative. Yes, Jared stepped on the line, and was obviously crushed with the result. But, he showed great composure and class during his interview, following the most devastating moment of his athletic career. He's another Island Olympian to be proud of! What have you accomplished to match the Olympics? Win the 50m sprint to the mailbox for your pogey cheque?

    • Anne MacDonald
      August 13, 2012 - 21:59

      Don't go shooting your mouth off unless you could do better. He made Canada proud and as they said if you watched the live broadcast...there is usually always a mistake made and unfortunately it was Jared...he made it a long way and was one of the fastest 36 men in the world and wish him all the best...I know he will make us proud.

    • Really
      August 13, 2012 - 22:03

      And while all this was happening what exactly were you doing? And when exactly did you make it to the Olympics? Its easy to judge others from your high horse but what have you done that gave you the right. He proved he was among the top runners in Canada while you were sitting on your couch. Grow up, stop acting like a petty jealous person. Good for him for getting that far, and good for him for acting like an adult when things didn't go his way. Which is more then I can say for you.

    • KJ
      August 13, 2012 - 22:05

      Really? Jared is still a bronze medalist even if he doesn't have one around his neck. His athletic ability gave him the speed to get the time required for bronze.. he didn't train to stand in between two lines. He's from PEI anyway.. how many islanders do you see in the average day cross over the lines on the roads? :P

    • Jarrod
      August 13, 2012 - 22:08

      Your comments are so insightful, I wonder why you'd use a pen name?

    • hate haters
      August 13, 2012 - 22:38

      To Sighs............... Id love to know what medal you could have taken home!! It wasn't a medal for PEI. I don't recall watching the race and seeing all the Islanders there.. Get over it. If that ruined your day him losing the medal I suggest you get a hobby.

    • chris
      August 13, 2012 - 23:27

      If you really think that I dare you to write it again but sign your name to it. Full name. C'mon troll.

  • Canada republic
    August 13, 2012 - 20:44

    Jared, you and the other guys really deserved that medal, buddy. That was a chincey call by the Euro-American Olympic establish who frequently use polite old Canada as an easy target to exercise their authority. The closing ceremony was a bit of joke too. I bet that was one of the hardest things some of the athletes had to persevere.

  • but....
    August 13, 2012 - 20:41

    You never did win a medal.....how could it be magical? Lets call a spade a spade

    • Spade
      August 14, 2012 - 09:13

      And let's call a but an ass. Get over yourself man. Your comment wasn't even acknowledged. How does that feel?

  • Empathyplusmore
    August 13, 2012 - 20:33

    I really feel for Jared, I really do. At least he tried. All my respect.

  • Jeannie Cameron
    August 13, 2012 - 20:19

    You'll have it and so will we. You placed third... forget the metal. Well done :)