CALGARY – Beloved Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has accepted an offer from the Calgary Stampede to be their 2013 parade marshal.
Hadfield, who took command of the International Space Station in March, will end his five-month journey on Monday.
Speculation that Hadfield might head to Calgary in July for the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth started Wednesday night, after an exchange between him and the Calgary Stampede on Twitter.
During the Twitter conversation, Stampede organizers asked Hadfield what he thought of “sitting in a horse saddle at full gravity,” to which Hadfield replied “Space suit, white hat, cowboy boots – I’ll be ready to ride anything that stays below 8km a second.”
On Thursday, Doug Fraser with The Calgary Stampede confirmed to Global News they had extended an invitation to Hadfield to be the parade marshal in 2013, and even posted an official invitation on YouTube.
Shortly after, Hadfield tweeted that he’d be “thrilled” to be the Stampede parade marshal, and said it is an incredible honour.
“Going from zero gravity to horse-back is going to be a huge adjustment, but I’m up for the challenge.”
“We are thrilled Commander Hadfield will be leading our 2013 Stampede Parade,” said Thompson, in a statement. “Commander Hadfield is truly a Canadian icon, a Canadian hero. He’s done remarkable work sharing experiences from the International Space Station and creating a community to celebrate and behold our planet. I believe that parade goers will join in on the opportunity to recognize and celebrate this incredible Canadian, especially so soon after he returns to earth.”
Hadfield is somewhat of a veteran marshal, having served the role back in 2001 as part of a group.
Check out virtual conversation below: