Archery Canada has selected four athletes for nomination to represent Canada in para-archery open compound events at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games which take place between 7-15 August.
"The para-archery team for the Parapan Am Games is a solid group of veteran athletes with podium finishes achieved at previous Parapan Am Games and World Championships," said Scott Ogilvie, Executive Director of Archery Canada. "Our athletes are looking forward to the opportunity to represent Canada on home soil in Toronto. The Games are also an excellent preparation for the World Championships later this summer where our athletes will have the opportunity to earn 2016 Paralympic quota spots."
Leading the team is 2011 Parapan Am Champion Kevin Evans, who is widely considered one of the best para-archers in the world. Evans is joined by Robert (Bob) Hudson who captured the silver medal at the 2011 Parapan Am Games, Alec Denys, a five-time Paralympic Games veteran who recently ended his retirement from sport, and Karen Van Nest, a four-time Paralympic Games veteran making her Parapan American Games debut.
"To represent Canada in a multi-sport event is one thing but to be able to do this on home soil is a dream come true," said Evans. "I know I, along with the rest of our team, have been training endlessly to be able to represent our country and our sport to the best of our ability at these Games."
"After more than 25 years of competing on the world stage this will be my first home games. I am so excited and proud to be representing Canada on home turf," said Denys. "These will be the best games ever!"
Van Nest, a three-time Paralympian in shooting, added: ""This will be my first Parapan Am Games so I'm super excited about competing at home."
"This team of experienced para-archers has been working hard over the last two years in anticipation of the opportunity to represent our sport at these Games and the honour of doing so in front of a home crowd in Toronto," said Team Leader Nancy Littke. "Numerous hours of hard work to improve in all areas of the sport including technical, physical, and the psychological will be put to the test both in Toronto in early August and then immediately after at the Para-Archery World Championships in Germany where we will be looking to earn all-important 2016 Paralympic quota spots."
"This is one of our most experienced teams in Toronto," said Chef de Mission Elisabeth Walker-Young. "These athletes have brought us many thrills at past Games and they have worked hard to make sure there'll be many more in Toronto."
"I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the athletes named today to the Canadian Parapan Am Archery Team," said The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "I hope you enjoy the experience of competing at these Games at home during the Year of Sport in Canada, and wish you good luck as you enter the final stages of your preparation."
Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games tickets are currently on sale. The Parapan archery competition will take place at Varsity Stadium in Toronto on 9-10 August.
With a goal of finishing in the top three nations in the total medal count, Canada is expected to send approximately 220 athletes to the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games. Qualification is ongoing and the full team will be officially announced in July 2015.