Learning that she is one of eight people to be invested into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador was a great surprise for Katarina Roxon just after landing back in Canada.
The Paralympian swimmer from Kippens got the word from Government House in St. John’s while in Toronto Airport after returning from her latest training camp in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
“This is a huge, huge honour. To be amongst so many amazing people, I’m still in awe,” Roxon said during an interview from her home in Kippens on Wednesday.
The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the province and its residents, according to a prepared release from government.
Back in September of 2016, Roxon won Paralympic gold in 100-metre breaststroke in Rio de Janeiro. She also finished seventh in the 200-metre individual medley event at the Paralympics and helped Canada to a fifth-place finish in the 4x100-metre freestyle relay and in the 4x100-metre medley relay.
“As soon as they told me I felt truly blessed. It’s amazing,” she said of the latest honour.
Roxon also had a secondary highway (Route 490) leading into Stephenville from the Trans-Canada Highway named after her shortly after her Paralympics win.
For her, this investment into the order is one of the biggest honours she has received.
In her sport, she admits that 2017 was a tough year for her, both mentally and physically but feels she rebounded towards the end of the year at Christmas camp.
Roxon is in waiting mode now to hear if she will be amongst those announced to the Commonwealth Games being held in Australia in April.
She’s also waiting to hear this summer if she will be part of the team competing in the Pan Pacific games in Australia in late July.
While she has her sights set on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, she’s still taking that month by month.
“We’ll see what the next year brings,” Roxon said.
For now, she’s looking forward to the 11th Order of Newfoundland and Labrador investiture ceremony being held on January 31 at Government House in St. John’s.
“This is something I never thought I’d achieve. It’s incredible,” she said.
Roxon said it goes to show that as a small town girl you can really achieve anything you set your mind to.
2018 Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recipients:
Terence S. Goodyear
Dr. Falah B. Maroun
Kathleen Pratt LeGrow
Katarina Mirabelle Roxon
Marie E. Ryan
Frederick David Smallwood
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador