Huot, Grand’Maison, Dixon & Côté named to the 2008 Paralympic Ambassador Team

Some of Canada’s most recognized Paralympic athletes will be at Ottawa’s Clifford Bowey Public School today, April 28, to launch the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Beijing 2008 Ambassador Team program.

Wheelchair racer and Paralympic multi-gold medallist Chantal Petitclerc will discuss with the students the role sport has played in her life and how support can help propel athletes to greater performances.

Petitclerc, a member of the CPC’s Beijing 2008 Ambassador Team, will also take on a few of the school’s teachers in a fun wheelchair race.

The other members of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Ambassador Team are swimmer Benoit Huot (Montreal, QC), swimmer Valérie Grand’Maison (Montreal, QC), runner Jason Dunkerley (Ottawa, ON), wheelchair rugby player David Willsie (London, ON), hand cyclist and Paralympic cross-country skier Shauna Maria Whyte (Hinton, AB), swimmer Kirby Coté (Winnipeg, MB), goalball player Amy Alsop (Regina, SK), swimmer Stephanie Dixon (Victoria, BC) and table tennis player Ian Kent (Eastern Passage, NS).

Jason Dunkerley, Benoit Huot, David Willsie and Chantal Petitclerc will be participating in the launch. Podi, the official mascot of the CPC’s It’s the Real Deal online schools program sponsored by Petro-Canada, will also be on hand.

“The Ambassador program is aimed at increasing overall awareness of our Canadian Paralympic athletes and the Paralympic Movement in the lead up to and beyond the upcoming Beijing 2008 Paralympic Summer Games,” said CPC President Carla Qualtrough, who will be in Ottawa for the program’s launch. “The members of the Ambassador program will be participating in various public events, such as the Canada Day celebrations, Toronto Blue Jays Game, Saskatchewan Roughriders Game, to raise awareness of the role sport can play in the lives of Canadians with a physical disability.”

The emcee of the event is Helen Jarvis, who is Clifford Boweys Public School Principal.

All of the Paralympic athletes in attendance will be available for one-on-one interviews following the official launch of the program.

The Beijing Paralympic Games run from September 6-17, 2008. The Paralympic Games are/is the premiere sporting event for athletes with a physical disability.

Clifford Bowey Public Schools is located at 1300 Kitchener Avenue. Doors open for the media at 10:00am.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is a non-profit, charitable, private organization that is recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The CPC delivers programs that strengthen the Paralympic Movement in Canada, including sending Canadian teams to the Paralympic Games. The CPC empowers persons with physical disabilities, through sport, at all levels. For more information, visit