Historic medal for Dembe/Bédard

August 13, 2015

SCARBOROUGH – Joel Dembe of Toronto and Philippe  Bédard of Bromont, Que., won the bronze medal in men’s doubles as wheelchair tennis action concluded on Thursday at the Parapan American Games.

It is the first time Canada has won a wheelchair tennis medal at a major Games.

Dembe and Bédard defeated Steve Baldwin and Jon Rydberg of the U.S. 6-4, 6-2 in the match for third place.

‘’Leaving on a high note is fantastic,’’ said Dembe. ‘’We are proud of winning the match today and coming away with a medal. We played solid tennis we stuck to our strategy, we didn’t ever give up on it and it worked.”

Dembe felt the he and Bédard were not the favorites in the match.

‘’I think it shows that anything can happen,’’ he said.  ‘’I’d argue we were probably the underdogs going in. I mean you look at Jon (RYDBERG), he’s is in a gold medal match in singles and I’ve very rarely beaten him in doubles.”

For Bédard, Thursday’s medal was a career highlight.  He was off the court for seven weeks due to an injury earlier this year.

‘’We’ve dreaming about a medal for a long time,’’ he said.  ‘’For me it`s been a big battle to get to this point and a bit of as miracle that I am here.

 ‘’But I always believed.’’