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LETTER: Fond memories of a promising student

Former teacher recounts Olympic kayakers other feats as a child

Dear Editor,

I read the newspaper article [Re: Kayaker off to Olympics, March 21, The News] about the kayaker off to the Olympics and I was thrilled to learn that Brian Malfesi is part of Team Canada.

Excelling in all the sports, always trying his very best, never complaining, Brian Malfesi was one of my former students in Whonnock Elementary school.

As you have mentioned in your article, Brian started paddling 16 years ago, at the age of 11.

At that time, Brian and his team placed second overall in the district elementary volleyball championship. Whonnock Elementary girls’ Killer Bs team won the volleyball championship.

I was so proud of all of you.

In June 2005, Brian and his teammates participated in the district track and field meet.

Everyone worked very hard in relays, sprints, high jump, shot put – just to mention a few of the events.

In my mind, I see you once again in action.

What a successful day that was indeed!

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At Whonnock, Brian Malfesi also excelled in math, sciene, writing, arts, and drama. Here’s what he wrote about Albert Einstein, his favourite scientist.

“Albert Einstein lived a marvelous life with many ups and downs, but always was somewhat of a rebel. He was unable to speak as a tot, but eventually learned at age 4.

In elementary school, Albert was weak in math and his other subjects, which left his teachers thinking he would never live a promising life.

They were wrong!

After taking seven years of violin, Einstein moved on to university and refused to study anything other than math and phsyics.

It was amazing that this lead him to win the Nobel prize for physics in 1921.

Later, he became a renowned lecturer, giving speeches all around the world… people considered him synonymous with great intelligence and genius.

It goes to show, even if you struggle at times of your life, you may someday blossom into something special later.”

In 2005, Brian Malfesi also played the lead role in William Shakespear’s play, Hamlet.

What an outstanding performance – Brian knew the whole play by heart.

As a teacher, I felt honoured to work with Brian, as well as all of my former students.

In conclusion, in the event of the upcoming Olympics, I know Brian will be successful once again.

Zdena Novy, Maple Ridge

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