HUNDREDS of Whitsunday residents turned out to show their support for Proserpine Paralympic gold and bronze medallist David Nicholas at his tickertape parade on Friday afternoon.
A beaming Nicholas wore his official paralympic formal attire and his medals with pride while making his way down Proserpine's main street in a red convertible while the Proserpine Citizens Band played music.
Mayor Jennifer Whitney addressed the large crowd in front of the Proserpine Entertainment Centre, highlighting his outstanding efforts before presenting him with a ceremonial key to Proserpine in honour of his outstanding achievements at the London Paralympics.
"David should be very proud of his achievements. He is a terrific young man and we are so fortunate to have such a fine young athlete and role model in the area," she said.
He graciously accepted the honour before meeting with members of the public, receiving countless hugs and cards from well-wishers and being available for photos with fans of all ages.
"I was surprised that so many people were interested and came out to support me, but it felt really good to have every one's support," he said.
The paralympic hero is now back at work at Whitsunday Regional Council and is slowly getting back into his training. The gold and bronze medallist genuinely hopes to inspire the next generation of disabled athletes. "I would really like to encourage any kids with a disability to participate in sport. The hardest part is taking the first step and getting started but it doesn't matter if you come last against the able bodied kids in whatever sport you choose because the worst that can happen is you'll get fit and have fun," he said.
"Who knows where it will take you if you stick with it? I had no idea when I started training that I might end up a Paralympian. Any potential athletes with a disability in this area can contact me or my dad for ideas on how to get started."
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