With less than 100 days to go until the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Wheelchair Basketball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee have announced the 24 athletes - 12 men and 12 women - nominated for selection to Team Canada for the Rio Paralympic Games this September.
The Canadian women are the reigning world champions and head to Rio with a roster that features 10 returning players from the club that captured the world title in 2014. Canada placed second on home soil at the 2015 Toronto Parapan American Games.
"We have an excellent group of athletes, coaches and support staff who have all worked very hard to get to this point and that momentum will carry us through the last 100 days until the Games," said Bill Johnson, head coach of the Canadian women's team. "As a top-ranked team we are confident in our ability to go head-to-head with the very best in the world as we strive for a return to the Paralympic podium in Rio."
The Canadian men are the reigning Paralympic champions, and six athletes will return from the team that won gold four years ago at London 2012. Team Canada placed second at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games last summer.
"We have assembled a great team with a balanced mix of veteran leadership and emerging talent," said Steve Bialowas, head coach of the Canadian men's team. "Our team is training tirelessly to reach its full potential on the court and we are excited to get underway in what is sure to be an exhilarating competition in Rio."
The wheelchair basketball competition at Rio 2016 features 12 nations on the men's side and 10 nations in the women's division. The action will start for Canada on 8 September, when the women open the competition against Great Britain and the men face Spain.
"With 100 days to go to the Games, it is very exciting to be celebrating our first teams to be nominated today," said Team Canada's Chef de Mission, Chantal Petitclerc. "I admire the commitment to excellence of our wheelchair basketball teams and I know they will be up for the challenge as they compete against a strong field of nations in Rio. I have great confidence in their ability to deliver outstanding performances."
Said Canada's Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtrough: "Canada's men's and women's wheelchair Basketball teams are poised to make another push for the podium in Rio in September - with the entire country watching and cheering their every basket. On behalf of Team Canada - 35 million strong - congratulations to all the athletes named today to represent our country and I commend Wheelchair Basketball Canada on their outstanding work in preparing our athletes to shine bright in front of the world."
Team Canada Men
Ben Moronchuk (pending classification)
Head Coach - Steve Bialowas
Assistant Coach - Darrell Nordell
Team Canada Women
Katie Harnock *
Cindy Ouellet *
Head Coach - Bill Johnson
Assistant Coach - Michael Broughton
Assistant Coach - Katie Miyazaki
* denotes athletes with Paralympic Games experience
Team Canada has a rich history of excellence at the Paralympic Games. The Canadian men have won three gold medals and one silver in their last four appearances at the Paralympic Games. On the women's side, Canada won three consecutive Paralympic gold medals in 1992, 1996 and 2000, followed by a bronze medal in 2004.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.