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B.C.-based Paralympians headed to Rio

By Contributor
September 7th, 2016

British Columbia will be sending another strong contingent of athletes to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with more than a quarter of the team hailing from this province.

Of the 162 athletes representing Team Canada, 44 of them either live or train in British Columbia. These Paralympians hail from 20 geographic regions throughout the province and will be participating in 14 events, with the majority competing in wheelchair rugby, rowing and athletics.

“Canadian Sport Institute Pacific is proud to support many of Canada’s most dedicated athletes, who are competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games,” said said Wendy Pattenden, CEO, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific.

“Having worked with these athletes and coaches over the past four years and seen their hard work and dedication in action, we can’t wait for them to show the world how Canada’s athletes are #ParaTough.”

Those training in the province work with government partners at Canadian Sport Institute (CSI) Pacific or PacificSport centres in the Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Vancouver Island.

The B.C. contingent in Brazil will also include 13 CSI Pacific staff members – including sport scientists – who will serve national sport partners at the Games, 13 alumni members of the BC Games or Team BC, and nine coaches from around the province.

Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, and MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, will once again be competing for Team Canada in the T52 100-metre and 400-metre athletic events.

She is also the only Canadian female athlete to be a Paralympic champion in two separate summer sports (basketball and athletics).

“Following the success of B.C. Olympic athletes competing in Rio, later this week our contingent of Paralympians begin their quest, led by my colleague Michelle Stilwell,” said Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia.

“These Paralympic Games represent a diverse array of athletic talent, and I know all British Columbians will join me in wishing each and every one of them success as they represent B.C. on the world stage.”

Since 2001, the Government of British Columbia has invested more than $1 billion in sport.

This support includes funding for B.C.’s provincial sport organizations that are instrumental in providing training and development for athletes and coaches on the high-performance pathway as they progress from provincial competitions to national development programs and national teams.

Quick Facts:

  • 162 athletes make up the Canadian Paralympic team.
  • 44 of these athletes have a B.C. connection.
  • 37 benefit from services provided by Canadian Sport Institute Pacific or a PacificSport Centre in the province.
  • 31 of them have their hometown in British Columbia.
  • In 2012, Canadian athletes won 31 medals at the London Paralympic Games: seven gold, 15 silver and nine bronze.
  • Eight of the medals in 2012 came from athletes with a connection to B.C., including two athletes who double medalled (Michelle Stilwell and Brianna Nelson).

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