Canadian Paralympic Committee
September 6, 2008
Canadian cyclists, swimmers
get first crack at Paralympic medals in Beijing
BEIJING - Canada's Paralympic cyclists and swimmers have the first
chance to win medals on day one of competition, following an extravagant
opening ceremony to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games on Saturday
Team Canada consists of 143 athletes competing in 17 of the 20
sports at the Paralympic Games.
"Every Canadian athlete here in Beijing has earned the right
to represent Canada. I can't wait to see them perform at the Paralympic
Games," said Canadian team chef de mission Debbie Low. "The
competition begins in less than 12 hours, and this will truly be
an opportunity for Canada to shine on the international stage."
Swimmers Valerie Grand'Maision and Stephanie Dixon are strong contenders
in their respective classes in the 100m butterfly. Preliminaries
are held in the morning and the finals in the evening.
Other Canadians in the pool Sunday are Devin Gotell, Brian Hill,
Chelsey Gotell, Kirby Cote, Drew Christensen, Andrea Cole, Katarina
Roxon and Brittany Gray, all swimming the 100m butterfly.
Brianna Nelson, Laura Jensen and Stephanie McDougall are competing
Sunday in the 100m individual medley.
The only other sport in which Canadians could be vying for a medal
on Sunday is cycling. Daniel Chalifour and his cycling pilot Alexandre
Cloutier, Stephane Cote and his pilot Pierre-Olivier Boily, and
Brian Cowie and his pilot Devon Smibert will be looking to advance
from the preliminaries in the men's individual pursuit (tandem)
Sunday morning to finals later in the day.
Canadians Jean Quevillon and Brayden McDougall will also be racing
Sunday morning in hopes of making the finals in the afternoon in
the men's CP3 individual pursuit.
Genevieve Ouellet and her pilot Mathilde Hupin are competing Sunday
in the preliminaries of the women's 1 km time trial (tandem).
Canada's boccia players have a full day of competition, the Canadian
women's goalball team takes on Sweden, the men's goalball team plays
Iran, and the men's wheelchair basketball squad is up against Germany.
As well, table tennis player Ian Kent plays Israeli No. 5 ranked
Zeev Glikman in the men's individual class 8.
Lauren Barwick, Jennifer McKenzie, Ashley Gowanlock and Eleonore
Elstone, begin their equestrian team event in Hong Kong as part
of the Paralympic Games.
The first day of competition follows the official opening of the
Beijing Paralympic Games today. Canadian athletes were out in full
force for the Opening Ceremony, held at the Bird's Nest under the
theme "Flying with the Dream."
"It was really amazing to come through the tunnel and into
the stadium with all those people," said wheelchair racer Michelle
Stilwell of the sold-out event. "It's hard to put the experience
into words. It was special to be with all the other Canadians, knowing
everyone has worked so hard to fulfill their dreams. I now just
need to focus and put it together (for her race later in the week)."
After Chinese President Hu Jintao declared the Beijing 2008 Paralympic
Games open, the paralympic torch was lit.
For more information:
Mary Beth Walker or Rachal Fleury
CPC Media Relations At-home Media Team
Tel: 613-569-4333 ext. 227
Press Chief, Beijing 2008 Canadian Paralympic Team
Mobile: (011) 86 13439622163,
Press Office: (011) 86 1066617438,