by Jason LaRose
January 18, 2014, CALGARY, Alta. (ISN) – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced Saturday the 17 players nominated to play for Canada’s National Sledge Team at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, March 7-16 in Sochi, Russia.
Head coach Mike Mondin (Trail, B.C.) and assistant coach Curtis Hunt (Regina, Sask.) assembled Canada’s National Sledge Team roster after competing in several camps and events during the 2013-14 season, including winning the gold medal at the Four Nations Tournament in Sochi in August, and 2013 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Toronto, Ont., in December.
“Getting down to 17 players was by no means an easy decision, which is a testament to the sledge hockey talent this country is producing,” Mondin said. “We feel we’ve assembled the best roster possible, and we’re excited to compete for Canada at the Paralympics in Sochi.”
“Hockey Canada is very proud of the players and staff nominated for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “The Paralympics is biggest stage for sledge hockey in the world and I know our athletes will play their best and make Canadians proud.”
Of the 17 players nominated Saturday, 16 helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2013 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship in Goyang, South Korea, and eight represented Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
“Canada can get excited about our sledge hockey team, announced today across the country, which enters the Games with confidence built on talent, experience and exceptional leadership,” said Team Canada’s chef de mission, Ozzie Sawicki. “I look forward to seeing our sledge hockey team perform in Sochi, as it has had a season of solid preparation and enter the Games with a defined focus on its performance task, ready to contribute to the overall team objective of top three in the gold medal count.”
“It is my great pleasure to congratulate our athletes who have earned their spots on our 2014 sledge hockey team and will represent Canada at the 2014 Paralympic Games,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, minister of state for sport. “Canada’s sledge hockey teams have proven that they have the confidence and determination to succeed at the Winter Games. Our Government is proud of your accomplishments and we wish you the best of luck as you prepare for the Games in Sochi.”
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 7-16, 2014. With a goal of placing in the top three nations in the gold medal count, Canada will send approximately 50 athletes to compete in sledge hockey, wheelchair curling, para-Nordic skiing, biathlon, para-alpine skiing and para-snowboard.
Upcoming Canadian Paralympic Team nomination announcement events include para-alpine skiing on Jan. 21 in Calgary and para-snowboard on Jan. 26 in Big White, B.C. The wheelchair curling team nominations were announced Dec. 6.
With 100 days to go to the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) unveiled an unprecedented, fully accessible broadcast and electronic media plans for the most comprehensive coverage ever offered in Canada for a Paralympic Games – more than 65 hours of broadcast, up to 350 hours of digital streaming, and rights free news access highlights connecting Canadians via multi platforms. CPC will lead the Paralympic Broadcast Consortium partners in creating coverage on five broadcast/digital platforms: CBC/Radio-Canada, Sportsnet, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), Yahoo Sports Canada and SendtoNews.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Media are invited to visit photos.paralympic.ca and create an account to be able to download high-resolution photos of Canadian Paralympic athletes at any time, at no cost.
For more information on Canada’s National Sledge Team, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_sledge.