Previewing Lima 2019: Parapan Ams serious business for boccia players

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 19, 2019

Canada is sending its best boccia players to Lima


OTTAWA – It isn’t a direct qualifier for the Paralympic Games, but Canada is sending its best boccia players to Lima which it considers an important dress rehearsal for Tokyo 2020.

Leading the charge is Alison Levine of Montreal. She is currently ranked number-three in the world in the individual BC4 category and recently won her first World Open tournament in Montreal this past May.

She won silver in pairs at the 2015 Parapan Ams and was fifth at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Marco Dispaltro of Montreal was Canada’s flag bearer in the Opening Ceremony at the 2015 Games. Lima will be his third career Parapan Ams. He took silver in individual in 2011 and silver with Levine in pairs in 2015.

Two more athletes were in Toronto in 2015 and Rio in 2016: Éric Bussière of Verchères, Que., a double medallist in Toronto, and Hanif Mawji of Burnaby, B.C., a silver medallist in individual BC1 in 2015.

New to the Parapan Am Games scene are Iulian Ciobanu of Montreal, Philippe Lord of Blainville, Que., and Marylou Martineau of Quebec City. Lord is the only one of the seven not at Rio in 2016.

At the 2015 Toronto Games, Canada was second in the boccia medal standings with a gold, four silver and a bronze. Canada won the medal count four years earlier in Guadalajara with two gold, a silver and a bronze.
Brazil led the way in the sport in Toronto winning six of the seven gold. Colombia, Argentina and Mexico also regularly field medal contenders.

Lima does provide ranking points for Tokyo qualification. Generally, a team must be top-10 in the world and an individual in the top 20 to 24 in the world to go to the Paralympic Games.

Canada is sending a team of 151 athletes to the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games, taking place August 23 to September 1.

For more information on the Canadian Parapan Am Team, please visit

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