Record 11-member Canadian Para swimming team for Commonwealth Games

January 18, 2018

The group headed to Gold Coast, Australia, in April includes eight members of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games team. Quadruple world-record holder Aurélie Rivard, who won four medals in Rio and was named Canada’s flag bearer, headlines the team, which also includes Rio medallists Katarina Roxon and Tess Routliffe.

Morgan Bird and Rio gold medallists Rivard and Roxon all represented Canada at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. They will join world champion and world-record holder Kylie Masse, Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak and others to bring the Canadian contingent to 37 total athletes. The swimming competition takes place from April 4-9 at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.

“The 11 swimmers who will compete in the Para-swimming events in the pool bring a wealth of international experience to the team,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson. “I am delighted that we can announce these additions to our 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming team, making an integrated team of 37 swimmers from our Olympic and Paralympic programs.”

High Performance Centre – Quebec Head Coach Mike Thompson will also be joining the team. Thompson coaches five of the 11 athletes and will bring his Para-swimming expertise alongside Senior Coach Paralympic Program Vince Mikuska, who was named to the team in September. Rounding out the staff is Manager, National Para-swimming Programs Emma Van Steen, who will serve as assistant team manager.

“We congratulate all of the Para-swimmers on their nomination and look forward to cheering them on in April at the Games,” said Team Canada Chef de Mission Claire Carver-Dias.

Swimming will be well represented at the Games. Paralympic legend Benoit Huot, whose events are not offered at the Games, is serving as Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada.

“I have followed the evolution of para-sports within the Commonwealth Games, and swimming of course, with great pride. This inclusion offers our athletes a great opportunity for increased visibility. This team is a great mix of youth and veterans and I look forward to supporting these athletes on site as they strive to achieve their goals in Gold Coast,” Huot said.

The complete list of Para-swimming additions is below:

Women

Name Club Coach Hometown Residence
Morgan Bird Cascade SC Wendy Johnson Calgary, AB Calgary, AB
Sarah Girard CN Neptune Jeremy Bruggeman Montréal, QC Montréal, QC
Sarah Mehain McGill University Peter Carpenter Vernon, BC Montréal, QC
Aurélie Rivard CHP-QUE Mike Thompson St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC Montréal, QC
Tess Routliffe CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Caledon, ON Montréal, QC
Katarina Roxon Aqua Aces SC Leonard Roxon Kippens, NL Kippens, NL
Samantha Ryan CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Saskatoon, SK Saskatoon, SK
Abi Tripp Y Penguins Vicki Keith Kingston, ON Kingston, ON

Men

Name Club Coach Hometown Residence
Jean-Michel Lavallière CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Québec City, QC Montréal, QC
Philippe Vachon Mégophias Charles Labrie Blainville, QC Trois-Rivières, QC
Zach Zona CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Waterford, ON Montréal, QC