Birthdate

Sport(s)

Wheelchair Rugby

Hometown

Okotoks, AB

Classification

Zak Madell is one of the big stars in wheelchair rugby.

When he was 10, he lost his fingers and legs to a septic staph infection. After his recovery, Madell first got involved in sledge hockey, but he was unable to hold the stick well enough to play at a high level. Next, he was introduced to wheelchair basketball, which appealed to his competitive nature and his love of speed. Finally, he was recruited to wheelchair rugby in 2011 and has experienced a meteoric rise in the sport ever since.

At age 17, he debuted for the Canadian national team at the 2011 Americas Zone qualification tournament.

Despite having played for just over a year, he earned a spot on the team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The coaching staff originally intended to give Madell only limited playing time, but he consistently performed above expectations and handled the pressure of the Paralympics with a smile on his face. His performance was the wild card that lifted Canada to victory in its semifinal upset of the number one-ranked American team.

He was then named MVP of the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Odense, Denmark, the 2014 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament, and the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge. His biggest honour came when he was named Team Canada’s flagbearer of the Closing Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, after leading the team to its first gold medal in 13 years.

Following a fourth-place team finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Madell took some time away from the National Team spotlight to focus on his university studies earning a Diploma in Architectural Technology.

He returned to help Canada to silver at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games and  looks to lead Team Canada to more strong results. At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, hefinished second in tournament scoring, averaging over 26 Tries per Game (4 games).

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2012, 2016, 2020 Paralympic Games including silver at 2012 Games… 2015, 2019 Parapan American Games (gold and silver)… Canada’s flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony at 2015 Parapan American Games… named Most Valuable Player at the 2014 IWRF World Wheelchair Rugby Championships…

PERSONAL

At age 10 he lost his fingers and legs to a septic staph infection….  Has a Diploma in Architectural Technology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology… In 2023, he obtained a new certification: Talk Master Certification… Has worked as a UBER driver for the past six years…

NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS

2022 World Championships 5th

2022 Americas Championships 2nd

2021 Paralympic Games 5th

2019 Parapan American Games 2nd

2016 Paralympic Games 4th

2015 Parapan American Games 1st

2014 World Championships 2nd

2012 Paralympic Games 2nd  

Year Type
Host City
Medals
2023 Parapan am Games
Santiago, Chile
1 silver medals

1 silver medals

2020 Summer
Tokyo, Japan
2019 Parapan am Games
Lima, Peru
1 silver medals

1 silver medals

2016 Summer
brazil-flag-2 Created with Sketch.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2015 Parapan am Games
canada Created with Sketch.
Toronto, Canada
1 gold medals

1 gold medals

2012 Summer
London, England
1 silver medals

1 silver medals