MONTREAL – Swimming Canada is proud to announce Montreal as the host city for the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships.
Montreal will be the first ever North American host for the event, which will be the first major gathering of international athletes since the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Around 650 of the world’s best swimmers from 50 countries are expected to compete from Aug.
“Bringing this event to the site of the 2005 FINA World Aquatics Championships at the beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau is bringing the world to Canada,” said Swimming Canada CEO Pierre Lafontaine. “It helps inspire, develop and sell sport for people with disabilities across our nation.”
In the true spirit of the Paralympic Movement, the partnership of all three levels of government made this event possible. Swimming Canada would like to thank the federal government, Province of Quebec, City of Montreal, Defi Sportif and Tourism Montreal for their support in bringing a major international championship to Canada.
“We are very excited about Montreal staging the IPC Swimming World Championships as it is a citywith an excellent track record for staging major international sporting events,” said IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez. “Many of the swimmers who competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, breaking 148 world records, will compete in Montreal. Just like in London I expect them to thrill spectators and TV viewers around the globe with their sensational performances.”
“I am delighted that Montreal is hosting the IPC Swimming World Championships in August and I would like to invite all Canadians to come and experience first class Paralympic sport,” added Jane Blaine, chairperson of the IPC Swimming Sport Technical Committee.
Craig McCord, head coach of Canada’s national para-swimming team and a member of the IPC Coaches’ Advisory Group, sees the meet as an opportunity to grow para-swimming in Canada. With this event in Montreal and the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canadians will have two chances to see major international competitions contested on home soil.
“We’ve got the ability to leverage this event into a huge recruitment and awareness opportunity for para-swimming and other para-sport in Canada,” McCord said.
Canada’s flag bearer at the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, Benoit Huot, is expected to star for the host nation in his hometown.
“It’s great that I’m going to be able to compete for the first time at home, not only in Canada but really in my backyard where I train every day,” said the winner of 22 world championships and 19 Paralympic medals. “It’s something every athlete would dream of to be able to have this opportunity so I’m looking forward to it.”
Other big names expected to compete in Montreal include Brazil’s Daniel Dias, a winner of six gold medals all in world record times at London 2012, USA’s 12-time Paralympic champion Jessica Long, Great Britain’s four-time Paralympic champion Eleanor Simmonds, and the Australian duo of Matthew Cowdrey and Jacqueline Freney who, between them, amassed 12 gold medals in London.
The last IPC Swimming World Championships took place in August 2010 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and consisted of 181 different medal events. With 58 medals in total, including 21 golds, Ukraine topped the medals table ahead of USA and Russia in second and third respectively.
To promote the IPC Swimming World Championships, the IPC has launched an event microsite with the latest news, ones to watch, athlete biographies and useful information for teams. The website can be accessed at www.ipcswimmingworlds2013.org.