OTTAWA – Canada’s Paralympic stars are making their final preparations for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, with 49 athletes, including four guides, set to take to the snow and ice with aims of podiums, personal bests, and exciting performances in just under two weeks. The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) officially confirmed the complete Beijing 2022 Canadian Paralympic Team today, which will be competing March 4-13.
Canada is participating in all five winter sports in Beijing: Para ice hockey (17 athletes), Para nordic skiing, including biathlon and cross country (12), Para alpine skiing (11), wheelchair curling (5), and Para snowboard (4).
A team of 49 coaches and support staff will be working with the athletes in Beijing.
CLICK HERE for the complete Canadian Paralympic Team list.
CLICK HERE to access bios of each athlete named to the Canadian Paralympic Team.
“I am so proud to be supporting every member of this team in Beijing,” said Josh Dueck, chef de mission, Beijing 2022 Canadian Paralympic Team. “The past few years have been filled with many challenges and uncertainties, and while each person’s journey to the Games is unique, all 49 athletes have worked so hard to get here and are so deserving of their place on this team. I know the performances and stories of these incredible athletes will elevate, motivate, and unite Canadians across the country, displaying the joy and resiliency of the human spirit and the power of sport to change lives. I wish every athlete the best of luck in Beijing; it is going to be an absolutely phenomenal nine days of competition.”
“Congratulations to every single one of the 49 athletes who have earned their spots on the Canadian Paralympic Team, and a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported them along the way,” said Karolina Wisniewska, assistant chef de mission, Beijing 2022 Canadian Paralympic Team. “Competing at the Paralympics is a huge accomplishment and a huge honour. These Games are going to be full of amazing, impactful performances. I know this team will represent the country with pride, and I cannot wait to watch them compete and cheer them on alongside all of Canada!”
About the Beijing 2022 Canadian Paralympic Team:
• The team features 30 athletes with Paralympic experience, with all 30 returning from the PyeongChang 2018 team. A total of 19 athletes will be making their Paralympic Games debuts.
• Two athletes will be competing in their sixth Paralympic Winter Games (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022): Billy Bridges and Brian McKeever. Bridges has won three medals as part of Canada’s Para ice hockey team while McKeever is Canada’s most decorated Winter Paralympian, with 17 Paralympic medals including 13 gold.
• Next on the list is Para ice hockey player Greg Westlake, who will be making his fifth Paralympic Winter Games appearance, while three athletes are headed for a fourth Games: Mark Arendz (Para nordic skiing), Adam Dixon (Para ice hockey), and Ina Forrest (wheelchair curling).
• A total of 25 Canadian team members have won Paralympic medals, of which 19 are multi-medallists.
• Brian McKeever leads the way for Canada with 17 career Paralympic medals. He is followed by fellow Para nordic skier Mark Arendz with eight medals. In Para alpine skiing, Mac Marcoux (five) and Mollie Jepsen (four) top the podium chart. Ina Forrest (wheelchair curling), Billy Bridges (Para ice hockey), Greg Westlake (Para ice hockey), Collin Cameron (Para nordic skiing), and Natalie Wilkie (Para nordic skiing) each have three apiece.
• At 19 years old, Logan Leach is the youngest member of the team. The Para alpine skier will be making his first Paralympic appearance in Beijing. Wheelchair curler Dennis Thiessen, a two-time Paralympian, is the oldest team member at age 60.
• Nine provinces and territories are represented by the athletes’ listed hometowns: Ontario (21 athletes), Quebec (8), British Columbia (8), Alberta (5), Saskatchewan (2), Prince Edward Island (2), Manitoba (1), Newfoundland & Labrador (1), and Yukon (1).
• The roster includes four guides: Russell Kennedy and Graham Nishikawa (guides for Brian McKeever), Julien Petit (guide for Logan Leach), and Tristan Rodgers (guide for Mac Marcoux).
• Liam Hickey (Para ice hockey) is also a summer Paralympian, having represented Canada in wheelchair basketball at Rio 2016. Beijing will be his second Winter Games.
• Two-time Paralympian Steve Arsenault, who retired after PyeongChang 2018, will be back at the Games in Beijing but this time behind the bench, as an assistant coach of the Para ice hockey team. Two other members of the support team have competed at the Paralympic Games: Para alpine’s team leader Matt Hallat (2006, 2010, 2014) and Para nordic head coach Robin McKeever who served as his brother Brian’s guide in 2002, 2006, and 2010.
With the Games just days away, an updated version of the CPC’s We’re Here campaign has also been released. Originally debuting last summer for the Tokyo Games, We’re Here highlights the star power of Canada’s Paralympians from their skills as the world’s best athletes on the field of play to their remarkable stories off the field of play. The new iteration features winter athletes Tyler McGregor (Para ice hockey) and Frederique Turgeon (Para alpine skiing).
Audiences across the country will be able to tune in live to support all 49 Canadian athletes as they achieve their dreams of competing at the Paralympic Winter Games. A comprehensive coverage plan from the Canadian Paralympic Media Consortium, including broadcast partners CBC/Radio-Canada, AMI, Sportsnet, and Amazon Prime Video, and digital partners Twitter, Facebook, and MXZN will make it easy for Canadians to watch every minute of action and catch up on what they’ve missed, while Paralympic.ca will be information hub on all the latest Canadian Paralympic Team news. The complete broadcast schedule and details on how to watch will be announced closer to the start of the Games.