Triple gold medalist Paralympian Michelle Stilwell leads a 24-strong team announced today by Athletics Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, to compete in the Rio Paralympics in September. The sitting MLA in the BC Legislature for Parksville-Qualicum won double gold in wheelchair racing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a gold and silver in 2012 in London.
The team is also headlined by multiple Paralympic medallists Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., and Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., along with world champion Guillaume Ouellet of Victoriaville, Que.
“Our nominated athletes in para-athletics bring world-class accomplishments and exciting potential to the Rio 2016 Canadian Paralympic Team,” said Team Canada’s Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc. “I know that all our athletes and coaches are making the most of these final few weeks of preparation before the Games as they work towards a peak performance in Rio. I can’t wait to cheer them on at the start line in September.”
At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Canada’s athletics team won nine medals, led by Lakatos with three silvers (200-metres, 400-metres and 800-metres). The 36-year-old Lakatos has also earned 12 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championship podiums (including seven golds) and three Parapan American Games gold medals.
“I can’t wait for Rio,” said Lakatos. “These are my fourth Paralympic Games, and each one has been so different. Athens was a blur, Beijing was bitter disappointment and London was my first taste of the podium. This will be the first time I head in as a favorite.”
Stilwell, the team’s lone gold medallist at London 2012, won gold in the T52 classification wheelchair 200-metres and silver in the 100-metres. Jason Dunkerley and guide Josh Karanja of Ottawa, Ont., won silver in the T11 visually impaired 5000-metres and bronze in the 1500-metres. Guillaume Ouellet will make his Paralympic Games debut as the reigning world champion in the T13 classification 5000-metres, while Rio will mark Diane Roy’s sixth Paralympic Games, an impressive career that has seen her win five Paralympic Games medals overall.
For a full list of athletes go to: www.paralympic.ca