TORONTO (August 14, 2015) – Canada won the bronze medal in men’s and women’s sitting volleyball on Friday at the Parapan American Games. In addition, the Canadian women qualified for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
“We had Rio in our sights,” said Felicia Shafiq of Burnaby, B.C., after the Canadian women trounced Cuba 25-8, 25-7, 25-7. “We were determined to beat Cuba and I’m going to show off this bronze medal to everybody.”
Shafiq was Canada’s top scorer with 17 points, Shacarra Orr of Jaffray, B.C., added 13 and Heidi Peters of Edmonton contributed 12.
“The emotions right now are hard to describe,” said Orr. “There was a point in my life I thought I was never going to play again, and here I am going to Rio with the team I love and the sport I love.”
In the men’s bronze medal match, Canada defeated Colombia 28-26, 25-17, 25-18 to the delight of a large pro-Canadian crowd at the Parapan Am Field House in Scarborough. Doug Learoyd led the Canadian attack with 13 points. Jose Rebelo of Montreal and Jamoi Anderson of Toronto added nine apiece.
“We’ve put forth a hell of an effort in this tournament,” said Anderson. “We played hard and we are glad we are going home with some hardware. The crowd was awesome. When were down a couple of points they would pick us back up.”
The men missed out on Rio qualification after a tough 3-1 loss to the U.S. yesterday.
Canada has a total of 216 athletes, including 11 guides, set to compete in 14 of the 15 sports contested at the Toronto Parapan Ams: boccia, goalball, judo, para-archery, para-athletics, para-cycling, para-swimming, powerlifting, seven-a-side football, sitting volleyball, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.