Philippe Bédard of Bromont, Que., the Canadian sledge hockey team and Alana Ramsay of Calgary earned gold, silver and bronze in various parts of the world this past weekend in international parasport.
Bédard, who won Canada’s first-ever Games medal in wheelchair tennis with doubles partner Joel Dembe this past summer at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, teamed with American Steve Baldwin to win the Arizona Open in Tucson on Sunday.
Bédard and Baldwin defeated Leon Els of South Africa and Rafael Medeiros of Brazil in the final 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.
‘’It was very close but we played smart and that made the difference,’’ Bédard told Sportcom. ‘’It’s a big win in my first doubles tournament of the year.’’
Heartbreak final for Canada in sledge hockey
In Bridgewater, N.S., Josh Pauls scored 7:31 into overtime to lift the U.S. to a 3-2 victory over Canada in an exciting gold medal final at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge. The Americans led 2-0 after two periods but the Canadians roared back with goals by Brad Bowden and Ben Delaney within a three-minute span in the third to force extra time.
"I told the guys 'never, never quit.' We got some quick goals and it gave us a lot of emotion,’’ said Canada’s head coach Ken Babey. ‘’ But when you go into overtime it's going to go one way or the other.’’
Canada went 3-0 in the round robin portion of the tournament, which included a 2-1 win over the Americans. In its semifinal, the Canadians hammered South Korea 10-0. The Koreans then upset Paralympic silver medallists Russia 4-2 in the bronze medal game.
Alana Ramsay earns first career podium
In St. Moritz, Switzerland, Ramsay won the bronze medal and placed fourth in her two World Cup slalom races this past weekend. It was a first podium finish for the 21-year-old Ramsay.
“I’ve been working on slalom all year and after a few hard days in the gates, I am glad that all my hard work is resulting in great finishes,” said Ramsay.
Ramsay's success continued a breakthrough trip for the Canadian para-alpine skiers. At the first stop earlier this month in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Kurt Oatway of Calgary earned his first career World Cup victory winning in the men's sitting giant slalom. "I put into play what I've been told to do all year: don't focus on trying to go fast, but rather focus on being round early and carrying momentum from turn to turn. I did that in this race and won as a result of it."
There is no rest for the Canadian skiers with the next World Cup set for later this week in Tignes, France.