Scott Russell to emcee Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame induction

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scott russel
 
OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2015 – Scott Russell, the Gemini Award-winning broadcaster, author and host of CBC’s Road to the Olympic Games, has been confirmed as emcee for the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame induction ceremony to be held Friday, Nov. 27 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa.

 
“It is a distinct honour to have been involved with reflecting the story of the Canadian Paralympic movement over the years through my work at CBC Sports,” said Russell. “To help welcome these outstanding athletes and national treasures into the Hall of Fame is both enlightening and inspiring.”
 
A magnificent group of seven individuals were announced last month as the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame inductees for 2015.
 
In the athlete category are wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc of Montreal, Que., para-alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft, of Banff, Alta., and wheelchair basketball player Marni Abbott-Peter of Vancouver, B.C. Named in the coach category is the late Wilf Strom of Winnipeg, Man.; in the builder category are his wife Audrey Strom of Winnipeg, Man., Donald Royer of Sherbrooke, Que., and the late Gary McPherson of Edmonton, Alta.
 

 

“Scott Russell is such an incredible storyteller and advocate for sports in Canada,” said Martin Richard, Executive Director of Communications & Marketing for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “We are honoured to have Scott join us in inducting our heroes of the past into our Paralympic Hall of Fame and inspire new generations of Paralympic champions through his work with the CBC.”
 
The induction ceremony and celebration dinner is set for Friday, Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m.
 

2015 Inductees Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame

Athlete category

Chantal PetitclercChantal Petitclerc (Montreal, Que., originally from Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, Que., coached by Peter Eriksson), para-athletics: Petitclerc is one of the most successful athletes ever in Paralympic sport. She competed at five Paralympic Games (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and won 21 medals, including 14 gold, in wheelchair racing. In 2008 she won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year and was named Canadian Press’ female athlete of the year. Petitclerc is a public speaker, broadcaster and athlete mentor, currently serving as Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Marni Abbott-PeterMarni Abbott-Peter (Vancouver, B.C., coached by Tim Frick), wheelchair basketball: Abbott-Peter led Canada’s national women’s wheelchair basketball team to three gold medals and a bronze in her four Paralympic Games appearances (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004). She was the cornerstone on one of the most dominant teams in the history of Canadian amateur sport, which also won three consecutive world titles and produced a 43-game winning streak in world championship and Paralympic Games play. Since retiring as an athlete, Abbott-Peter has focused her attention on coaching and giving back to the wheelchair basketball community.

 

Lauren WoolstencroftLauren Woolstencroft (Banff, Alta, originally from Calgary, Alta., coached by Jean-Sébastien Labrie) para-alpine skiing: A three-time Paralympian (2002, 2006, 2010), Woolstencroft won eight gold medals, one silver, and one bronze at the Paralympic Games over her career. At the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games, Woolstencroft became the first Canadian winter Paralympian to win five gold medals at a single Games and was named Canada’s flag bearer for the closing ceremony. For the last two years she has been following another passion and running a coffee shop in Banff called Whitebark Café, which is based out of the Aspen Lodge. 
 

Coach category

Wilf StromWilf Strom (Winnipeg, Man.) blind sports: As the Canadian Blind Sports national swim coach in the 1980s (including the Paralympic Games in 1980, 1984 and 1988), Strom coached an extremely successful group of swimmers, including Tim McIsaac, Mike Edgson and Carla Qualtrough. Among his many innovations, Strom developed the tapping system, a significant breakthrough in the sport. People called “tappers” stand at the end of the pool and use a pole to tap the swimmers when they approach the wall, indicating when the swimmer should turn or end the race.

 

Builder category

Audrey StromAudrey Strom (Winnipeg, Man.) blind sports: As the first Chairperson of Swimming for the Canadian Blind Sports Association (CBSA), as well as the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) in the early 1980s, Strom worked to ensure that innovative rule changes for blind swimmers, such as tapping, were instilled in the ISBA and later the International Paralympic Committee swimming rules. Integration of blind swimmers was possible in Canada due to the rule modifications and coaching materials developed by Strom, whose work has helped shape where we are today in para-swimming.

Dr. Donald RoyerDr. Donald Royer (Sherbrooke, Que.) multi-sports: For over 40 years, Royer has been a tireless advocate of athletes with a disability as a coach, referee, researcher, team leader, judge, board member, administrator and federation delegate in the sports of wheelchair basketball, athletics and powerlifting. He served as a team manager or team leader at 13 Paralympic Games. Royer has also conducted many international clinics and training camps, introducing wheelchair sports to countries around the world.

Gary McPhersonGary McPherson (Edmonton, Alta.) wheelchair sports: McPherson spent more than 20 years in wheelchair sports administration, including eight years as president of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (CWSA), prior to which he acted as the association’s general manager. While general manager for the Alberta Northern Lights Wheelchair Basketball team, it became the first Canadian team to qualify for the final four of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

 

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