Santiago 2023 Day 5 Recap: Alison Levine wins boccia gold on nine-medal for Canada at Parapan Am Games

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 23, 2023

Medals won in boccia, Para archery, Para swimming, and Para athletics

Danik Allard with his silver, Alison Levine with her gold, Lance Cryderman with his silver medal

SANTIAGO – It’s was Canada’s biggest medal day yet at the Santiago 2023 Parapan Am Games on Wednesday as the Games hit the midway mark.  


GOLD – Alison Levine, Boccia, Women’s BC4 Individual
SILVER – Danik Allard, Boccia, Men’s BC2 Individual
SILVER – Lance Cryderman, Boccia, Men’s BC1 Individual
SILVER – Tyson MacDonald, Para Swimming, Men’s S14 200m Individual Medley
BRONZE – Iulian Ciobanu, Boccia, Men’s BC4 Individual
BRONZE – Kyle Tremblay, Para Archery, Men’s Compound Open
BRONZE – Fernando Lu, Para Swimming, Men’s S10 100m Butterfly
BRONZE – Noah Vucsics, Para Athletics, Men’s T20 Long Jump
BRONZE – Sheriauna Haase, Para Athletics, Women’s T47 200m


GOLD – 4
TOTAL – 24


Canada won four boccia medals, led by Alison Levine’s gold in the women’s BC4 individual tournament. Levine got on the board first against opponent Leidy Chica Chica of Colombia, the No. 1 player in the world, scoring two points in the opening end. Tied at two apiece heading into the final two ends, it was Levine who picked up a point per end to claim the 4-2 win.

This is Levine’s first individual and first gold Parapan Am medal, alongside a bronze and silver in pairs play from Lima 2019 and Toronto 2015.

“I am elated right now, I’m just so happy and I think the emotions are setting to set in a little bit.”

“Canada is on fire; we are playing like I haven’t seen this well across all classifications in awhile,” said Levine about the team’s performance this week so far. “I think we’re all feeling so super supported by Canada. We feel that energy, we feel that momentum, but we also feel a sense of calmness throughout the entire team. We don’t feel pressure is being put on us. We just really feel the support, and that people are here to watch us play, not to watch us win necessarily and as an athlete that really helps you play at your best.”

Winning silver medals are Danik Allard in men’s BC2 and Lance Cryderman in men’s BC1. In their respective finals, Allard dropped a 6-1 decision to Brazilian Maciel de Sousa Santos while Cryderman fell 11-0 to Mexican Eduardo Sanchez.  

“I’m ecstatic. This game certainly could have gone a bit better, but I am absolutely ecstatic overall,” said Cryderman. “Yesterday’s match was an awesome match, and today he played well, and he deserved that medal. When you give a top 10 player that kind of room, he’s going to take advantage.”

In an all-Canadian duel for the men’s BC4 bronze medal, Iulian Ciobanu came out on top over Marco Dispaltro 5-3. Ciobanu, who describes Dispaltro as his mentor, came out strong, leading 4-0 after two ends.

“The goal was achieved, a bronze medal for Canada,” said Ciobanu, who improves upon his fourth place four years in Lima. “It’s what we are aiming for here, to bring more medals for Canada.

“But playing against your teammate is not so pleasant. Playing against someone you train with everyday, for eight years, who is your mentor, to beat him in competition is tough. It’s never easy to play against your teammate. But of course, we are proud. I finish third, and he finishes fourth, and we are both Top 5 in the Americas.”

In other results, Kristyn Collins lost to Ecuador’s Joselyn Leon 3-2 in the women’s BC2 bronze medal match to finish fourth in her Games debut.

Para Archery
Kyle Tremblay is a Parapan Am Games bronze medallist, defeating Mexico’s Victor Sardina in the men’s compound open third-place match. Canada’s lone Para archery entry in Santiago, Tremblay found himself in the same situation he was in the semifinals – tied after the final round and forced into a one-shot winner-takes-all scenario. Unlike in the semifinals, Tremblay hit a perfect 10 bullseye to take the victory.  

Tremblay, who has earned Canada a quota spot for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, wins his first Parapan Am medal in his debut Games.  

“On that last shot I just told myself don’t shoot a nine again and lose,” said Tremblay. “I wanted this one for Canada. I earned us a spot [for Paris] here, but going home with a medal just makes it that much sweeter.”

Para Athletics
A breakout star at the 2023 world championships where he won silver, Canada’s Noah Vucsics is now a bronze medallist at his first major Games, in the men’s T20 long jump. He finished with a leap of 6.96 metres, shy of his personal best 7.35 metres (also an Americas record).

“That was my goal coming in here to try and get on the podium,” said Vucsics. “It was a little tough because I knew I didn’t quite have the fitness I did over the past summer, because this is a bit of an awkward time of the year for the track athletes, but to come here and get on the podium it definitely was big goal for me so I’m happy about that.”

Sheriauna Haase made it two bronze medals for Canada in Para athletics, third in the women’s T47 200m. Also competing at her first multi-sport Games, she sprinted to the finish in a time of 25.65.

“I feel so good, I am very proud of myself, and very proud of the work I’ve been doing with my coach,” said Haase. “I’m just so happy I get to experience this.”

In other results, Keegan Gaunt was third in the women’s T13 1500m final, however with only three entries in the competition, medals were awarded to just the top two finishers. Natalie Thirsk was fourth in the women’s T38 400m, and Billy Bridges – a six-time Paralympian in Para ice hockey – was eighth in the men’s F55 shot put in his summer sport debut.

Para Swimming
Tyson MacDonald captured his third medal of these Parapan Am Games, adding a silver in the men’s 200m individual medley SM14 to add to two bronzes won earlier in the week. He finished in 2:16.36. Fellow Canadian Connor Bissett was sixth.

“It feels good to get an upgrade from a double bronze – not to take away from the two bronzes,” said MacDonald, who also was a triple medallist at the Lima 2019 Games. “It was a great race, I’m pretty sure it was the second-fastest I’ve ever been in my life in that event. I could not be happier with how it turned out and the entire Games.”

Also making the podium on Wednesday was Fernando Lu, winning a bronze in the men’s 100m butterfly S10 in a time of 1:01.16. The 16-year-old now has two medals in his first major Games after winning a silver on day one of competition. Teammate Jagdev Gill finished fourth in the same race.

In other results: Ruby Stevens was fourth in in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB5; Myriam Soliman fourth in the women’s 50m butterfly S7; Felix Cowan eighth in the men’s 400m freestyle S9; Jordan Tucker fourth in the women’s 50m freestyle S4; Hunter Helberg seventh in the men’s 100m freestyle S12; Justine Morrier fifth and Emma Van Dyck sixth in the women’s 200m individual medley SM14; and Caleb Arndt fifth in the men’s 50m freestyle S13 at 7:43 p.m.

And in the 4x100m medley relay, Canada finished sixth with a team of Gill, Lu, Soliman, and Allison Gobeil.

Wheelchair Rugby
Canada defeated Brazil 60-45 in the semifinals to set up a gold medal showdown with the U.S. in wheelchair rugby. The Canadians took control of the game early, never giving their opponents a chance to get back into the game. Matt Debly was Canada’s scoring leader with 15 tries, with Rio Kanda Kovac adding 11.

“A team like Brazil is a momentum team, we didn’t want to give them any ground to work with, so a big start was key for us,” said Travis Murao, who scored the team’s first two tries. “I thought we did that well and we want to carry that momentum into the final.”

The team now gets set for Thursday’s final against the Americans, with the winner earning a berth in next summer’s Paralympic Games.

“Our rivalry never gets old,” said Murao. “This is why we keep playing this game year after year – to get those big matchups. It’s going to be exciting.”

Canada’s women’s goalball team is through to the semifinals following a 10-0 victory over Mexico. Four of the team’s six players got on the score sheet – Amy Burk (5), Emma Reinke (3), Whitney Bogart (1), and Meghan Mahon (1) – while they also kept Mexico scoreless. They will play Brazil Thursday for a spot in the gold medal game.

“Defence first – that is our team thing right now,” said Burk about the team’s key to success. “We can throw the ball, but we’re going to win if we can stop it.”

“We have this thing, it’s no balls off. It doesn’t matter if we’re up 8-0, if we’re up 1-0 or it’s tied, every single shot we’re going to defend it as if we’re tied. We’re here to show we belong here, and we’re pushing for Paris and we’re going to keep going no matter what the score is.”

Also posting a dominant triumph was Canada’s men’s goalball team, 9-1 against Chile. Doug Ripley and Mason Smith both netted three goals, with Blair Nesbitt and Aaron Prevost rounding out the scoring. The squad now heads into the semifinals for a matchup against the U.S., the only nation to defeat them this week so far, earlier in the group stage.  

Wheelchair Basketball
Canada easily moved into the men’s wheelchair basketball semifinals following an 88-31 win over Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Canada came out firing, and held the Puerto Ricans to single digit scoring in the final three quarters of the game. Nik Goncin was the squad’s top scorer with 21 points.

“It’s nice to come out and perform well,” said Bo Hedges. “Puerto Rico’s got some guys that can shoot the ball, so our defence had to be there and on point to take that away. We were able to do that for most of the game and get everybody a few minutes, and now a couple of days we go and play the semifinals.”

Canada will take on Colombia in the semifinals on Friday.

“It’s nice to get into a flow,” said Goncin. “All of our games after this are going to be significantly more challenging so we are trying to play at a level that we see the future games being, hopefully we’re getting close.”

Wheelchair Tennis
Barry Henderson and Thomas Venos were eliminated from the men’s doubles tournament, dropping a 6-1, 7-5 decision to Americans Casey Ratzlaff and Conner Stroud in the quarterfinals.  

CP Football
Canada lost to Argentina 10-0 as preliminary play continued in CP Football action. The team is 0-4 with one game remaining on Thursday before the fifth-place classification match on Saturday.  

Para Badminton
Following the first day of play in Para badminton, Pascal Lapointe and Yuka Chokyu are both 2-0 in their respective categories, the men’s singles SL4 and women’s singles WH1, to lead Canada.

Mikhail Bilenky, Olivia Meier, and Wyatt Lightfoot are all 1-1, with William Roussy, Colleen Cloetta, and Bernard Lapointe 1-0. Justin Kendrick currently sits at 0-2.

The doubles tournament also began, with Pascal Lapointe and Meier winning in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 along with Bernard Lapointe and Bilenky in men’s doubles WH1-WH2. Cloetta and Kendrick dropped their opener in mixed doubles SH6.

CLICK HERE for the complete results on Wednesday November 22.  

Can Crew Newsletter

Receive the latest news, athlete stories, and behind-the-scenes access directly to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields