Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards: Nate Riech adds Paralympic champion to his title in Tokyo

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 29, 2023

Dominant gold medal run earns Riech Best Paralympic Debut by a Male Athlete award


Heading into his first Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Nate Riech was definitely a frontrunner in the men’s T38 1500m race. A gold medallist in the event at the 2018 world championships and 2019 Parapan Am Games, he had consistently lowered the world record leading into Tokyo.

And he delivered at the Games, winning gold in wet conditions in a time of three minutes and 58.92 seconds to add Paralympic gold to his impressive resume. He was over four seconds faster than the runner-up.

The medal was Canada’s fifth and final gold of the Tokyo Games.

“Tokyo was such a unique Games, during COVID, no friends and family in the stands, but I had such a great support staff in Tokyo,” said Riech recalling his time at the Games. “I want to give a special shout-out to my support team, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have even got to the championships, but they helped me execute at a high level and I ended up coming home with gold.

“The one moment that rings home for me is when I got to call my mom after the race, and to hear how proud and also how emotional she was during that time is something I will never forget.”

Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards

Best Paralympic Debut by a Female Athlete – Kate O’Brien
Best Paralympic Debut by a Male Athlete – Nate Riech
Best Team Performance – To be announced
Best Male Athlete – To be announced
Best Female Athlete – To be announced

The Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards recognize outstanding athlete and team performances at the Paralympic Games. For more information visit

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