On its own, an Olympic gold medal is generally not enough to get someone appointed to the Order of Canada.
Mark Tewksbury has done so much more, though.
Between his bravery in coming out as gay in 1998 to his role as a mentor and leader within the Canadian Olympic community to his activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community, the Special Olympics and people suffering with their own mental health, Tewksbury’s impact goes well beyond the pool where he won gold in 1992.
On Friday, Tewskbury was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada. That’s the highest level of the Order, and there’s a limit of only 165 living Companions at one time.
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