Quick facts


March 28, 1994




Okotoks, AB


Wheelchair Rugby




Lima 2019

London 2012

Santiago 2023

Tokyo 2020

Toronto 2015

Paris 2024

Zak Madell is one of the world’s biggest stars in wheelchair rugby.

At the 2023 Parapan American Games, Madell was second in tournament scoring with 136 tries (19.4 average per game) as Canada won the silver medals. In early 2024, he was a powerful force once again as Canada took silver at the last chance Paralympic Games qualifier to book its ticket to Paris.

When he was 10, Madell lost his fingers and legs to a septic staph infection. After his recovery, Madell first got involved in sledge hockey, but he was unable to hold the stick well enough to play at a high level. Next, he was introduced to wheelchair basketball, which appealed to his competitive nature and his love of speed. Finally, he was recruited to wheelchair rugby in 2011 and has experienced a meteoric rise in the sport ever since.

At age 17, he debuted for the Canadian national team at the 2011 Americas Zone qualification tournament.

Despite having played for just over a year, he earned a spot on the team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The coaching staff originally intended to give Madell only limited playing time, but he consistently performed above expectations and handled the pressure of the Paralympics with a smile on his face. His performance was the wild card that lifted Canada to victory in its semifinal upset of the number one-ranked American team.

He was then named MVP of the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Odense, Denmark, the 2014 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament, and the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge. One of his biggest honour came when he was named Team Canada’s flagbearer of the Closing Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, after leading the team to its first gold medal in 13 years.

Following a fourth-place team finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Madell took some time away from the National Team spotlight to focus on his university studies earning a Diploma in Architectural Technology.

He returned to help Canada to silver at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, he finished second in tournament scoring, averaging over 26 Tries per Game (4 games).


2012, 2016, 2020 Paralympic Games including silver at 2012 Games… 2015, 2019, 2023 Parapan American Games (gold, silver, silver)… 2014, 2022 World Championships… 2023 Tournament MVP at International Wheelchair Rugby Cup test event in Paris… Canada’s flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony at 2015 Parapan American Games… named Most Valuable Player at the 2014 IWRF World Wheelchair Rugby Championships…


At age 10 he lost his fingers and legs to a septic staph infection….  Has a Diploma in Architectural Technology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology… In 2023, he obtained a new certification: Talk Master Certification… Since January 2024, recruitment coordinator with Wheelchair Sports Alberta…


2023 Parapan American Games 2nd

2022 World Championships 5th

2022 Americas Championships 2nd

2021 Paralympic Games 5th

2019 Parapan American Games 2nd

2016 Paralympic Games 4th

2015 Parapan American Games 1st

2014 World Championships 2nd

2012 Paralympic Games 2nd

Paralympic Medals