The 2017 Speedo Can Am Para Swimming Championships are set to begin on Friday (31 March) as the athletes prepare to make their way to Windsor, Canada.
The event will be hosted at the Windsor Aquatic Club and is set to mark the first step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games for Canada’s top Para swimmers.
After strong performances this past summer in Rio de Janeiro, Canadian Para swimmers are looking to build upon that success in their first international event since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Can Am Championships will serve alongside Rio 2016 as a qualifier for the upcoming 2017 World Para Swimming Championships that are set to take place in Mexico City from 30 September- 6 October.
Triple Paralympic gold medallist Aurelie Rivard will be competing in the event. Rivard was named Canada’s flag bearer at Rio 2016 for her performance at the Paralympics in the women’s S10 and she will be looking to kick off the 2017 season with continued success.
Fellow teammate Katarina Roxon was recently named one of Canada’s most influential women by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport for 2016, a highlight on her resume which also features a gold medal from Rio in the 100m breaststroke SB8.
Benoit Huot is coming off his fifth Paralympic Games where he brought home a bronze medal from the men’s 400m freestyle S10. The bronze medal was his 20th overall which tied Michael Edgson for second most all-time Paralympic swimming medals in Canadian swimming history. He is looking forward to competing in Windsor, a place he has yet to visit over the span of his career that has taken him all over Canada.
“I am lucky to be in the pool again and having fun racing. After all those years competing around the country it will be my first time visiting Windsor. I am looking forward to compete with the next generation of swimmers and help them in their sporting journey on this first year of the next quad. Go Canada!”
Approximately 160 athletes are scheduled to compete in Windsor over the three-day event. Nearly 100 different Canadian swimming clubs will be represented from all 10 provinces. International competitors will be arriving from the USA and Mexico to compete in Windsor.
Having just hosted the 2016 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), the City of Windsor is now prepared to host its second swimming Championships in the span of four months. The support and the enthusiasm from mayor Drew Dilkens and other city representatives towards hosting events have made these opportunities possible and Windsor has represented Canada well.
The event officially gets underway at the Windsor Aquatic Club on Friday and will conclude on Sunday (2 April). Preliminary rounds begin at 9:30am (EDT) and finals will take place at 6:00pm.
Entry to the venue will be free of charge and spectators are more than welcome to come cheer on Canada’s Para swimmers. Full results can be found on the Swimming Canada website.
The Mexico 2017 World Para Swimming Championships will be held from 30 September-6 October, with around 550 swimmers from more than 60 countries competing.