The Quinte area is rather sparsely populated. I guess that's the appeal for a lot of people who live here. Other than the towns of Belleville and Trenton (pop. 46,000 and 16,000 respectively) it is mostly rural. Despite being a little less well-heeled (and that's putting it politely) than most of the rest of the province, the Quinte area has churned out some amazing people. These people prove that being from a small town doesn't mean that one has to have small dreams.The first person who comes to mind is Trenton's own Elizabeth Manley, perhaps Canada's most loved figure skater. The 1988 Calgary winter Olympic games were not going well for Canada, our medal count was embarrasingly low, and being the host nation, it created a lot of angst for Canadians. After the compulsary figures and the short skate in the lady's program, Elizabeth surprisingly found herself in third place. No one would have blamed her for skating conservatively just to try to hang onto the bronze, after all, she wasn't favoured for a medal at all, and the Japanese skater Midori Ito in fourth place had just laid down a flawless long program. Skating second-to-last, Elizabeth went out and skated one of the ballsiest programs in the history of Olympic figure skating. Most Canadians remember her performance, it has become an iconic event in Canadian sports. Most of you Canadians reading this will want to watch it again. Unfortunately, due to the nature of judging back in those days, it wasn't enough to overtake Katerina Witt for the gold, but it did earn her a silver medal. The final skater, Debi Thomas of the U.S.A., couldn't match her performance and fell to a bronze.
Elizabeth Manley retired from competitive skating in 1988 and skated professionally with the ice-capades. She was awarded the Order of Canada as well, and she has been a tireless spokesperson for many causes, most recently for for Ovarian Cancer Canada's Winners Walk of Hope. Her mother passed away from this disease in July 2008. She has also published an autobiography. Elizabeth was married in 2006 in Trenton (to a hockey player - of course), and her and her husband now live in Ottawa Ontario. She is still a very prominent figure in Canada, and one of this nations most loved athletes of all time.
Hopefully, many young people from this area can look up to this iconic figure and realize that hard work, courage, and dedication can pay off, no matter where you are from.