N.L. boy sends Timbits soccer medal to cheer up disqualified Canadian runners

PARADISE, N.L. – A Newfoundland boy who sent a letter and his soccer medal to the Canadian men’s 4X100 relay team says he simply wanted to boost their spirits after they were disqualified from an Olympic bronze medal.

Elijah Porter’s handwritten note garnered national attention after Justyn Warner, a member of the team, tweeted it Monday.

In his letter, the 10-year-old Paradise boy said it wasn’t right when the team lost its bronze medal for a lane violation.

Porter later said he wrote the letter because he felt bad for the team, particularly Jared Connaughton, who stepped on the border of his lane prior to handing off the baton to Warner during their race Saturday.

“When I saw that he touched the line … I thought, `Why are rules like that?’ Porter said. “Even though it’s unchangeable, I thought I could make him feel better by sending him a letter … and sending him my own medal.”

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Kim Porter, his mother, said she doesn’t believe the attention his heartwarming gesture has garnered will overwhelm him.

“Our son is a very unique child and he takes things in stride,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to go to his head. I think he’s just going to be the same Elijah who loves nature and science.”

He included with his letter a Timbits soccer medal that he won a few years ago. A spokeswoman for Tim Hortons said the company will give him another medal, as well as a bicycle.

“We’re really proud of him,” said Nicki Power. “As a token of his kindness, we of course are going to be replacing his Timbit soccer medal that he gave to the Olympic team, but we would also like to offer him a Tim Hortons 21-speed mountain bike in appreciation and hopefully he’ll get some good use out of that.”

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