Canadian Paralympians set to ‘Shine’ in Tokyo with special theme song

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 10, 2021

Songwriter Paul DeRosa inspired to write song in honour of cousin


As the performances of Canada’s athletes are celebrated at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games later this month, the accompanying soundtrack will often be the song ‘Shine’. 

The official theme song of the Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team, ‘Shine’ was written by Paul DeRosa and is performed by Canadian singer Eva Avila. It will be used to showcase the Canadian squad throughout the Games across broadcast and digital coverage. 

Recorded in 2019 at CBC’s Studio 211 in Toronto, the song was actually many years in the making for DeRosa. 

“The first version of ‘Shine’ was an acoustic version written about 18 years ago,” DeRosa said. “Many years later, it was a song that was always in development. I knew one day it would be used for something special.”

The song was inspired by DeRosa’s cousin Pat Ferrari, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident at the age of two. A song with an uplifting and celebratory vibe, ‘Shine’ has a positive message that anything is possible. 

Several years later, DeRosa realized it would be the perfect song for the Canadian Paralympic Team. 

“After recording a version of ‘Shine’ with a full band back in 2017, I was in my studio watching footage of Paralympic Games and I had ‘Shine’ playing in the background,” he said. “I was so inspired by the athletes. So I started downloading and editing footage with the song. It just had that inspirational sports vibe.”

He connected with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and a plan was hatched. Partnering with CBC Sports and CBC Music, CPC and DeRosa put together a new version of the song that would be the accompanying soundtrack for Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Avila came on board to be the voice of the song, and it was produced by Murray Daigle. 

“It was just magical to see and hear it all come together,” DeRosa said. “To be part of the ‘Shine’ project was an inspiring moment in my life.” 

Just as Canada’s Paralympians are sure to uplift people across the country with their performances in Tokyo, DeRosa hopes ‘Shine’ can do the same for all who listen to the song.

“As many of us would agree, the world needs a bit of hope right now. So I’m hoping that ‘Shine’ can inspire that little bit of change in everyone’s life.” 

‘Shine’ can be downloaded at Spotify and Apple Music with proceeds from downloads going towards supporting the Canadian Paralympic Team. 

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