Tommy on radio show “Ottawa Today” with Mark Sutcliffe

Tommy had his very first live radio interview and it went great! Whee!  You can hear it here:

Mark Sutcliffe interviewed Tommy live on his W1310 and Ottawa Rogers radio show “Ottawa Today”! Tommy is in Vancouver for a qualifying race for Para World Championships this July. It’s his first outdoor 5000m International Paralympic Committee sanctioned track race of the season! So his interview was be done by phone!

Thank you so much to Mark Sutcliffe , 580 CFRA and Rogers Daytime Ottawatv Rogers Ottawa for inviting Tommy on your show today!

Tommy as an Inspiring Customer #BMO200

Our local BMO Van Leeuwen branch nominated Tommy as an inspiring customer, and BMO selected him to share his story as they celebrate BMO’s 200th anniversary! Whee!

Watch their film here:

#BMO200 #AutismMeansFriendship #Whee #FirstFastestRunner #Paralympics #AthleticsCanada

Tommy in Zoom Autism Magazine

Our family is in Zoom Autism Magazine’s new Issue 11 released today! Whee!

On Page 50 and 51 there’s a story I wrote about how, as parents, we found that following Tommy and his big brother Paul’s lead, and honouring and celebrating their passions and strengths has led to happiness and success in their lives. Included is a photo we love of our family in the prairie of Alberta while we visited Paul and Laura last summer when they were doing their field work researching songbirds! (There are videos on Tommy’s channel of Tommy helping Paul and Laura at work with birds!) 

Previously, in Issue 6 on page 11, Tommy and Adel, his Autism Assistance Dog Guide had the honour of being featured in a story in this wonderful online magazine as well!

Thank you so much to Zoom Autism Magazine for including our story in your awesome magazine. We love that it is written for the autism community by the autism community. Its free, so check it out, explore the great stories they share, and please share their link with others!

Radio Interview with Mark Sutcliffe on Rogers Ottawa

Para-athlete Tommy Des Brisay and his mom MaryAnn talk about Autism means Friendship shirts

Published on Mar 31, 2017

Today, staff at the Bank of Montreal offices in Ottawa, are wearing special t-shirts that say Autism means Friendship. Hear the wonderful story behind this community action from para-athlete Tommy Des Brisay and his mother, MaryAnn.

Update 2017- Tommy’s Paralympic journey

Tommy’s journey as a Para Athlete has really taken off! Each step of the way, his exciting journey is documented on his YouTube channel.

Here are some recent highlights:

In 2017:

Selected by Athletics Canada as a Paralympic hopeful for Tokyo 2020, in January and February 2017, Tommy trained at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. He made new amazing friends, trained very hard, and learned many incredibly valuable things on this part of his journey as a T20 para athlete dreaming to race at the World Championships this summer in England, and in Tokyo 2020.

In February 2017, Tommy was awarded Road Racer of the Year at the Ottawa Sports Award Banquet, for the 3rd year in a row.

In April2017, Tommy is attending an altitude training camp at Flagstaff with Athletics Canada, in preparation for Worlds 2017.

In 2016, Tommy:

Ran personal bests in all distances, in both track and road races. Here are his current Personal Bests:

1500m 4:10

3000m 8:57

5000m 15:19

10k 32

Half Marathon 1:10

Marathon 2:38

IN 2016, Tommy ran the standard in T20 1500m and 5000m required to attend the Para World Championships 2017 in London, England. This spring he will race to improve his personal best times, and hopefully be selected to Team Canada to compete in July at Worlds.

In October, 2016, Tommy Des Brisay finished 1st place in the 9 Run Run Half Marathon today with a new personal best of 1:10:38
In September, 2016, Tommy finished 1st Place at the Canada Army Run 2016, with a new personal best of 1:12:24, finishing ahead of 8800 runners!

A really wonderful story about Tommy’s Canada Army Run Half Marathon win was written that day by Canadian Running magazine online. You can read it at this link!…/
Tommy had an incredible year in 2016, of amazing personal bests, and ran the standard required for selection for Rio, as well as completing the IPC classification criteria by competing in Italy and Arizona. Although Tommy was eligible for selection to go to Rio, there were many Canadian Para athletes who also met the criteria.

Rio was not meant to be for Tommy, but there are new, exciting opportunities on the horizon for him, especially given the amazing year of new personal bests Tommy ran in 2016!

Tommy had a wonderful trip in early July 2016 to the Canadian National Track and Field Championships and Rio Selection Trials. It was an exciting experience for Tommy on his Road to Rio. As we look back on 2016, we are so proud of all that he has accomplished.

Tommy travelled to Italy in April, 2016, for his first International competition, and to become a classified T20 athlete. Hrepresented Canada proudly in two races- the 1500m and 5000m in Grosseto, Italy. He was so excited and it was wonderful to see how well he handled his very first international races. When his name was announced in Italian, and we heard “Canada….Thomas Des Brisay” it was very emotional indeed. He raced with amazing athletes from many countries around the world. It was such an honour to be here! All of the athletes, organizers, volunteers, coaches, and hosts of this event have been so kind, helpful, and friendly towards Tommy.

In Italy, Tommy successfully completed his first round of classification as a T20 para athlete, bringing him one step closer to being eligible for selection to Rio.

Overall, Tommy was thrilled to be in Italy, made many new friends, and stayed upbeat, accepting the challenges of jetlag and new languages, and all of the many things that an international trip entails.
Thank you so much to all those who helped Tommy and cheered him on! We felt very welcomed and very supported there. Grazie <3
In 2015

Tommy ran the qualifying time for a T20 para athlete to qualify to compete in the 1500m at the Para PanAm games in Toronto, and was selected to Team Canada to compete in August 2015 in Toronto. However, an unfortunate clerical error regarding licensing prevented him from competing. Tommy quickly moved on from this setback, going on to run new personal bests and to run the qualifying time for Rio in 2016. His hard work and great attitude was great to see!

A training partner’s blog about getting to know Tommy at Chula Vista

At the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, Tommy Des Brisay had the amazing experience of training with some of the fastest, most dedicated and wonderful runners from all over Canada!
One of his new friends was Sasha Gollish, Canada’s current Women’s Cross Country running champion. Here Facebook page is Sasha Gollish. She is an incredible runner!
Sasha wrote a blog post recently, where she mentions Tommy. Thank you, Sasha, for the joy and friendship, and the mentoring and guidance you gave to Tommy as his running pal in Chula Vista, and for your kind words <3 Here is the link to Sasha's blog entry on her website: and here is what she wrote about getting to know Tommy: "I met Tommy, and his dad Peter, at the Athletics Canada West Hub training camp. Tommy was born with a form of an autism spectrum disorder, and while he cognitively may not be engaged with athletics the way you or I might be, he has a beautiful stride, a beautiful smile, and a zest for life like no other. With the migraine I suffered in California I was off the training schedule of my usual suspects. Tommy and Peter were kind enough to adapt there training to join me. Even better, Peter video records a lot of Tommy’s sessions and I was able to see what my stride really looks like. Tommy reminds me to be thankful for what I have, to love life, to love running, to chase after my dreams and never be ashamed of what they might be. Oh, and to laugh! Tommy was a ‘chirper,’ he had all kinds of things to say to us while we were out training that left us laughing so hard we were doubled over." Thank you, Sasha <3 Big hug oxox