Wheelchair Rugby Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee have announced the 12 athletes nominated for selection to Team Canada for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this September.
Canada is currently ranked world No. 1 in wheelchair rugby for the first time in 13 years after winning gold at both the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games and the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge. Now, the team is focused on winning its first ever Paralympic gold medal, after claiming silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The athletes nominated are as follows:
Ian Chan *
Patrice Dagenais (C) *
Trevor Hirschfield (C) *
Fabien Lavoie *
Zak Madell *
Travis Murao *
Patrice Simard *
Mike Whitehead *
David Willsie *
Head Coach: Kevin Orr
*denotes past Paralympic Games experience
C denotes team captains
"Last year, we got our first taste of gold in over a decade. We'll be carrying that feeling into Rio," said Orr. "We are working daily to prepare tactically, technically, psychologically and physically for a gold medal in Rio. We're ready to go."
Said Team Canada Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc: "Wheelchair rugby promises to be an extremely exciting contest in Rio that will have fans on the edge of their seats. I can't wait to cheer on the Canadian players as they charge forward in pursuit of their goals."
Added Carla Qualtrough, Canada's Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities: “Congratulations to all of the athletes named today to Team Canada and thank you to the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association, to the coaches, and to dedicated family members who have supported and encouraged these athletes on their path to Rio."
Team Canada will draw on extensive experience in their Rio campaign. Nine athletes return from the team that took silver four years ago in London.
Canada's last competition before Rio will take place on home soil at the 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament from 23-26 June in Richmond, British Colombia. Seven of the world's top teams - including rivals USA and Australia - will compete.
Athlete and coach biographies are available at the Canadian Paralympic Committee website: Paralympic.ca/athletes.
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.