20 things to look forward to in 2020

Canadian Paralympic Committee

January 06, 2020

This is the year of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games!


A new year has arrived, and it is going to be a big one for the Paralympic Movement in Canada! The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are mere months away and there will be lots of excitement in the lead-up, not to mention all sorts of other activities happening as well. 

Here are 20 things we’re looking forward to in 2020:  

1.    Supporting our Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team as it aims to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games right here at home – the last-chance qualifier will be hosted in Halifax from February 25-29. The winner of the tournament will secure their ticket to Tokyo. The women’s squad made their Paralympic debut four years ago in Rio. 

2.    The Canadian wheelchair rugby team is also looking to earn its spot in Tokyo at the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation Paralympic Qualification Tournament. The top two teams will qualify. Canada will be in familiar confines as it’s taking place at the Richmond Olympic Oval in British Columbia, from March 2-9. 

3.    Cheering on Canada’s best Para cyclists as they go for gold on their home track in Milton! The 2020 Para Cycling Track World Championships will take place from January 30 – February 2. As a Paralympic Super Series event, it will be livestreamed across Canada – stay tuned for more details. Live in the Greater Toronto Area? Tickets are still available and passes for the entire event are just $20. 

4.    Watching the many other world championships Canadians will be competing in as well. To name a few, the Para biathlon world championships run in Sweden in March, the Para Canoe worlds will be in Germany in May, and the Para Cycling Road World Championships will be in Belgium in June, And coming up in less than two months’ time, Canada’s wheelchair curlers bounced back from last year’s demotion to win gold in the B-championships last month and earn their spot in the 2020 worlds, which take place February 29 to March 7 in Switzerland. 

5.    Can you believe this is the 10-year anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games? There will be lots of commemorative celebrations throughout the winter, and we are excited to look back on an incredible home Games – and take a look at the progress we’ve made since then. 

6.    Watching Canada’s Paralympian Search athletes continue to develop. Several participants from the event have moved on to make national teams and compete internationally. One to watch this year could be Para canoer Andrea Nelson, who is in line to make her first Paralympic Games in Tokyo. She, along with fellow Paralympian Search grads Sarah Anne Cormier (Para snowboard) and Kyle Barber (Para nordic) recently received a Petro-Canada FACE grant as an up-and-coming athlete. For those looking to test their own skills, the 2020 Paralympian Search season will kick off with an event in Quebec City on March 28.

7.    The launch of Team Canada Champion Chats! The CPC, alongside the Canadian Olympic Committee and Champion Chats, launched the Team Canada Champion Chats at the end of 2019, and this year will see the first chats take place. Hosted by Benoit Huot and Tessa Virtue, the chats will allow thousands of students from across the country to connect with Paralympic and Olympic athletes. 

8.    The Tokyo 2020 clothing reveal! It’s always special to find out what the athletes will be wearing at the Games, from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, to the podium, and around Tokyo. We can look forward to the reveal, in conjunction with Hudson’s Bay Company and the COC, sometime this spring. 

9.    Supporting our friends at the Olympic Games. They kick off July 24 and run through August 9, and we’ll be cheering on Canada’s Olympians every step of the way – and surely, also be inspired by their performances as we take care of last-minute preparations for the Paralympic Games. 

10.    Following our winter sport athletes. It may be the year of a summer Games but our winter athletes are still competing strong! There are a number of competitions across the snow sports (Para snowboard, alpine skiing, and nordic skiing) to follow as our winter heroes search for personal bests and podium finishes, while our wheelchair curling and Para ice hockey teams will also be in action.   

11.    Getting to know our athletes more and sharing their stories with you! We’ll have lots of material on our social channels and right here at Paralympic.ca throughout the spring and summer to get to know our incredible Para athletes better, especially ahead of the Tokyo Games. 

12.    The reveal of the official Canadian Paralympic Team mascot. Last year we voted on which mascot we preferred – the grolar bear, beaver, or Arctic fox, and all will be revealed this year!

13.    Listening to Shine covers. Through the CBC Music Classroom Challenge, hundreds of classrooms submitted their versions of the Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team theme song, and the winners of the content were recently revealed. We’ll be sharing some of the best Shine covers on the broadcast throughout the Games!

14.    Introducing more people to Para sport through ParaTough Cup fuelled by Petro-Canada™. The signature fundraiser of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada supports the development of Para sport in Canada. The next two events will be held in Calgary on February 20 and Toronto on March 5, and you can still sign up with a team to participate! 

15.    Speaking of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada, we’re excited to see the impact that support from generous donors continues to make on Para sport in Canada. To find out more about the Foundation and how it contributes to the growth of sport for people with a disability, visit Paralympic.ca/foundation

16.    Finding out who will be representing Canada in Tokyo. Team announcements for each sport will take place throughout the spring and summer as athletes are confirmed! Stay tuned to our website and social channels for all the details. 

17.    Seeing our chef de mission cheer on our team all year long. Stephanie Dixon, a Paralympic legend herself with 19 medals won in the pool, will be the Canadian Paralympic Team’s biggest cheerleader in Tokyo.  

18.    Finding out who will lead Canada into the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in Tokyo as flag bearer. Four years ago, it was wheelchair basketball star David Eng hoisting the flag at the start of the Games – the co-captain of the men’s team was entering his fourth Games, while Aurelie Rivard took over the duties for the Closing Ceremony following her impressive four medal (three gold and one silver) haul.  

19.    Seeing the show at the Tokyo opening ceremony. We are confident the Tokyo organizing committee is going to pull off an amazing celebration to kick off the Games and we can’t wait to see it!    

20.    The entire Tokyo 2020 Games themselves, of course! This is the culmination of years of hard work and training for our athletes and competing at the Games is a huge accomplishment. No doubt we will have plenty of phenomenal performances to celebrate. The Paralympic Games run from August 25 to September 6 – make sure to add it to your calendars now!

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