Lance Cryderman turns back time in return to boccia

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 09, 2023

2000 Paralympian part of 2023 Parapan Am Team


This past weekend, most Canadians turned back the clock one hour. Lance Cryderman has turned his back 23 years.

The 42-year-old from Sudbury, Ont. is part of Canada’s nine-member boccia team that will compete at the Parapan American Games November 17-26 in Santiago, Chile. Cryderman, who retired a year after competing at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games to pursue his education, actually decided to return to the sport in 2017.

The pandemic ultimately put a stick in his wheels, but he persevered through the delays to get back on the national team.

Similar to lawn bowls, boccia is a game of precision that demands intense focus. The primary objective is to throw leather balls as close to the jack as possible. There are four classifications, three of which are for players with cerebral palsy.

“It’s one of the only sports that I would be able to play because of my physical limitations,” Cryderman told “Boccia is probably the most inclusive of the Para sports. It’s been my go-to since day one.”

Cryderman, who competes in the BC1 category, is not the only veteran on the team. Canada is sending its top players to face the Americas region, many of whom are among the top in the world.

At the last world championships in 2022, Colombia was third in the overall medal standings with a gold and two silver. Brazil has topped the medal table at the last two Parapan Ams with Colombia second, Argentina third, and Canada fourth in 2019.

Canada’s top medal hopes include Alison Levine of Montreal in the women’s BC4. Her top opponent in Santiago is expected to be Leidy Chica Chica of Colombia, the world championships silver medallist in 2022.

Levine, fourth at the worlds and a former world number-one, took silver at her first Parapan Ams in 2015 and bronze in 2019.

Marco Dispaltro of St-Jerôme, Que. is headed to his fourth Parapan Ams as the defending champion in the men’s BC4. His top opponents include teammate Iulian Ciobanu of Montreal and world silver medallist Euclides Grisales of Colombia.

Ciobanu and Levine also formed a powerful pairs team in BC4. They won bronze at the world championships. Levine, Ciobanu, Dispaltro and Danik Allard of Bois-des-Filion, Que. in BC2, Canada’s 2020 Paralympians in boccia, will all be in Santiago.

Two players from St. John’s N.L. are making their major Games debut – Kristyn Collins in BC2 and Lois Martin in BC1. BC3 players Joelle Guerette of Longueuil, Que. and Ryan Rondeau of Edmonton complete the line-up.

Cryderman won the bronze at a World Cup event held at the Games venue in Santiago earlier this year, his first international medal in the sport.

“We did really well there, so I’m really excited to get back there and get going again,” he said.

Boccia competition will take place November 19-22 and November 24-25 in Santiago.

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