From September 7-18 Brazil will host the XXV Paralympic Summer Games. This year 162 athletes will compete at the Games for Team Canada including (bullets courtesy of the Ontario Government):
- Priscilla Gagné, a Sarnia judoka who won silver at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
- Whitney Bogart, a 2015 Parapan Am Games Goalball gold medalist from Thunder Bay.
- Melanie Hawtin, Ontario’s lightning-fast wheelchair basketball player from Oakville who won silver with Team Canada at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
- Jason Dunkerley, the Ottawa runner who is the current Canadian record holder for the T11 800m, 1500m and 5000m.
In total there will be 4,350 athletes from more than 161 countries, and a refugee team competing in 22 sports at the XXV Paralympic Summer Games. CBC will be providing full coverage of the Games, which includes ample opportunities for viewers to stream competitions.
The Opening Ceremony begins tomorrow, September 7 at 6:30 PM with wheelchair basketball veteran David Eng as Team Canada’s Paralympic flag-bearer. This will be an incredible chance to see a variety of sports that rarely make it onto television such as wheelchair tennis, archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, equestrian, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, paracanoe, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball!!!!
In an interview with CBC, Chantal Peticlerc – Team Canada’s Chef de Mission, appointee to the Senate of Canada and winner of 21 Paralympic medals – recently said (and I couldn’t agree more):
The level of inspiration that Canadians and kids with disability or older people with disability can get from our athletes and the Paralympic Games is amazing. . . It inspires because it proves that it can be done … That always touches me. It’s tough for a parent of a child with disabilities, because you want them to push their limits and you want them to believe anything is possible. So they can see the Paralympic Games with all the disabilities. You’ve got visually impaired people on a bike going 100 kilometres an hour. It’s a very, very powerful human message.