Celebrity with a Deadly Past

As we approach the Paralympics, I find myself conflicted.

I witnessed much of the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games first hand as an employee of the the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and can attest to the remarkable nature of and perseverance shown by these athletes in overcoming their physical limitations in order to excel in sport, and for some, in life.

That being said, some of the disabilities are not as unexpected as others. This story talks about how former Canadian Paralympic sledge hockey player Herve Lord admitted that on the night he lost his right leg in a car accident, he was driving drunk. The accident killed 2 parents and left 2 kids orphaned.

At the end of the video, this reporter calls Lord “an incredible guy” who has “been through an awful lot”.

  • Do you think he is incredible?
  • Does “being through an awful lot” count for as much when the hardship is of your own irresponsible causing?
  • Does someone like this deserve to be celebrated (in a report, as a representative of a country, in a session with the country’s leader) after what he did?
  • Does the fact that he served 16 months in prison make up for killing 2 people and leaving 2 others without their parents, AND allow him to live a normal life within his new context, an opportunity not afforded at all to the two he killed?
  • Does his remorse affect your opinion at all? How?

I am having a hard time forgiving this action and justifying cheering this guy on. Thankfully, he’s no longer part of the team, so I will be excitedly cheering on Canada these Paralympics in hopes of Triple Hockey Gold in Sochi. But I would love your opinions on how this guy’s past actions affect how you see him, and people like him, today.

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Real world lessons for students

On Thursday, November 10th in downtown Montreal, thousands of loud students marched the streets blocking rush hour traffic in protest against proposed $325 tuition hikes for the next 5 years, despite the fact that currently, Quebec is home to the lowest tuition fees in North America (by far), and will remain close to the bottom even after the hikes.

The protesters had their say today. Now I get mine.

Dear student protestors: Your hypocrisy disgusts me. You pretend that tuition hikes will “prevent access to education” and then form picket lines at your school to prevent your fellow students from having access to their education.

Worse, if your education means as much to you as you claim, why did you skip school today?

If my employer had not made other plans for me, I had planned on being at the protest carrying a sign that would have simply said : Tuition before iPhones, beer and cigarettes. Student protesters, your misplaced priorities disgust me. If you can afford a smartphone (and its monthly plans); if you go out drinking at least twice a month; if you buy a coffee every day; if you are a smoker (!!!), if you have gone away for Spring Break – anywhere – then you can afford tuition. Tuition first, then luxuries. Smarten up!

If you want a free ride, earn it through hard work and get a scholarship. Do not expect the public to continue paying your way to the detriment of our education system. I didn’t take university as seriously as I might have, but at least I didn’t expect you to pay for my bad habits. If you want to be a hypocrite, have your priorities backwards, or act like an entitled, spoiled brat, do it on your own dime.

Stop the drama and get back to class. It’s time to pay your fair share. This is the real world. You would be wise to start preparing for it.