CALGARY, Jan. 19, 2016 – Chantal Petitclerc, Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, met with and encouraged local Rio hopeful athletes Morgan Bird, Chad Jassman and Stefan Daniel in Calgary today, during the second stop on her Canadian tour, attending a wheelchair basketball demonstration and thanking the community.
Jassman, a wheelchair basketball gold medallist from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, displayed his prowess in the gym this morning at Mount Royal University alongside teammates from the Calgary Grizzlies, a local wheelchair basketball club. Daniel, a world champion in para-triathlon aiming for his first Games when the sport debuts in Rio, was also on hand to spend time with Petitclerc and local supporters.
“We are grateful to have such a great support network both nationally and at a community level,” said Daniel. “The Paralympic movement continues to grow and that is because more Canadians are getting behind our athletes and encouraging them.”
Petitclerc is crossing the country this year to promote Paralympic sport and athletes on the road to Rio. The eight-city tour got underway last month in Ottawa. The Paralympic Games will take place September 7 to 18, 2016.
“With just over seven months to go until the Paralympic Games in Rio, it is a thrill to connect with our high performance athletes who are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for the podium,” said Petitclerc, a five-time Paralympian who won 21 medals at the Games in a brilliant wheelchair racing career. “Stefan, Chad and all our Rio hopefuls are impressive ambassadors and role models for all Canadians.”
Jassman is accompanying Petitclerc throughout the day, with afternoon visits to a school and sponsors, as well as a fundraising event with the Paralympic Foundation of Canada lined up.
“Thank you to the community for such a warm welcome today and enthusiastic, ongoing support,” said Jassman. “It makes a big difference, as an athlete when you are competing at the Games, to know that Canada is behind you.”
The third stop on the Road to Rio tour will be February 9 in Halifax, N.S.