From role player to team leader, Bo Hedges knows the importance of fun

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 19, 2021

Wheelchair basketball veteran headed to fourth Paralympics

Hedges action

He’s seen the best of times and some tough times for the Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball program, and now Bo Hedges is helping Canada’s younger players get on the path to success after a difficult Games in Rio back in 2016.

The 41-year-old Hedges, who grew up on the family cattle ranch near Wonowon in northern B.C., was a member of Team Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. The Canadians triumphed in London and bagged silver four years earlier in Beijing. In Rio though, the team tumbled to 11th.

‘’After London we had a changeover and a lot of guys retired,’’ said Hedges. ‘’And we had the younger generation moving in. So the mentoring and leadership became more important going into Rio. And since Rio, it’s been more about self reflection and how to communicate to people in appropriate ways and what will work best for them.’’

Expect to see a team with a positive attitude in Tokyo.

‘’For the younger players on the team I really try to emphasize that they need to have fun. You’ve got to enjoy the game, enjoy being there and take the time for yourself.’’

The boat seems to be steering back in the right direction again after an impressive silver medal at the Parapan Am Games in 2019 to qualify for Tokyo. In Lima, Hedges also led on the floor averaging more than 10 points and 31 minutes of playing time.

Hedges started playing wheelchair basketball in 1994. Just a year earlier at age 13, he fell out of a tree and broke his back just below the rib cage, severing his spinal cord. Since then he has seen his sport grow both at the competitive and technological level.

‘’It’s changed drastically,’’ he said. ‘’When I first started I was using my day chair, then when I got my sport chair, it really wasn’t that much different. But it started to evolve to what it is today, a finely tuned piece of machinery that’s dialed in exactly to match your specifications.”

After more than a decade on the national team, Hedges knows the only constant in sport is change.

For more stories about Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympians, visit

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