Multi-Paralympic champion Aurélie Rivard headlines 20-member Canadian world championships team

Canadian Paralympic Committee

July 28, 2023

Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships start Monday


MANCHESTER, England – Aurélie Rivard headlines a 20-member Canadian team for the Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships set for July 31 to August 6 in Manchester, England.

Rivard enters the competition with a Canadian record 17 world championship medals along with her 10 podium appearances over the last three Paralympic Games, including a career-high five at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

The 27-year-old law student who has dominated her category since winning her first Paralympic medal, a 400m freestyle silver at the 2012 Paralympics in London, says increased level of competition makes it harder and harder to stay on top.

“It’s always been tough,” she said. “There’s always been an evolution of the [Paralympic] Movement which means more resources and more competitors. Records keep getting broken, so the podium is harder to access.

“My official challenge is to stay there.”

Other Paralympic medallists on the women’s side include Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., a four-time Paralympian, Danielle Dorris of Moncton, N.B., Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., and Sabrina Duchesne of St-Augustin, Que.

This year’s worlds are an opportunity to gain quota spots for next year’s Paralympics. A top-two finish under the qualifying standard is a country spot in that race.

“It’s very important for us to do our best at these worlds to allow a bigger team to go into Paris,” said Dorris, the S7 gold medallist in the 50-metre butterfly in Tokyo (with a world record) and the 2022 worlds as well as silver at both events in the 100 backstroke.

At last year’s world championships in Madeira, Portugal, Nikita Ens of Meadow Lake, Sask. and Shelby Newkirk of Saskatoon had big breakthroughs with their first international medals.

Paralympians Abi Tripp of Kingston, Ont., and Aly Van Wyck-Smart of Toronto are headed to a third straight worlds while Jessica Tinney of Toronto, Angela Marina of Cambridge, Ont., Ariana Hunsicker of Surrey, B.C. and Clémence Paré of Mont-St-Hilaire, Que. are back as well as they all continue to rise in the world rankings.

Also making his mark in Portugal was S14 swimmer Nicholas Bennett of Parksville, B.C. After gaining valuable experience in Tokyo, Bennett captured silver in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley breaking the Canadian IM record.

It’s the third straight big event for the Canadians with the Paralympics in 2021 and back-to-back worlds. Next season it’ll be four straight with Paris on the horizon.

“This year alone has been a giant uptake in preparing,” said Bennett. “We decided this year to be in preparation mode for both the worlds and next year’s Paralympics. We need to add things up and prepare ourselves just to see the mental and physical strain of doing back-to-back.”

Bennett is one of six men on the team. The others are Paralympic medallist Nicolas-Guy Turbide of Quebec City, James Leroux of Repentigny, Que., Alexander Elliott of Kitchener, Ont., Philippe Vachon of Blainville, Que., and Zach Zona of Waterford, Ont.

Katie Cosgriffe of Oakville, Ont. is the sole newcomer on the team and is scheduled for five events in the S10 class. All others were in Portugal at last year’s worlds.  

“I was overwhelmed when I first got here [in Manchester] because I was the least experienced,” said the 17-year-old, who has been on the national team radar for a little over a year. “But I’ve been figuring it out and now I’m pretty excited to start the week. I’m swimming a lot because I want to get that experience especially if I have the opportunity to race at the Paralympics.”

Competition starts with a bang on Monday for the Canadians with 16 swimmers scheduled to be in action, its busiest day of the meet. Rivard will be looking to repeat as the S10 50m freestyle champion and Newkirk is hoping to so the same in the S6 100 backstroke.

“This is the first time for me that I swim on the first day at the worlds,” said Newkirk. “It’s going to be really cool to get out of that gate fast and see what we can do.

“It’s super fun to kick it off that way.”

Viewers can watch the competition live on and CBC Gem. CLICK HERE for the complete streaming schedule.

For more information on the Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships, visit:


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