Scarborough, Ont. – The Canadian Blind Sports Association and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are proud to announce the 12 athletes nominated for selection to Team Canada in men’s and for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this September.
Both Canadian teams qualified for Rio last summer with bronze medal performances at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Canada was fifth in women’s play and the men were 10th. The Canadian women won back-to-back gold in 2000 and 2004, silver in 1984 and bronze in 1988 and 1992. The men were silver medallists in 1996.
“Congratulations to our athletes nominated to play for Canada in goalball,” said Team Canada’s Chef de Mission, Chantal Petitclerc. “This Paralympic-only sport is incredibly competitive internationally and I know both our men’s and women’s teams will bring their toughest game and compete with pride in Rio.”
Goalball is a Paralympic-only sport played by athletes with a visual impairment. Played in a gym court, the objective of the game is to throw the ball using a bowling motion into the opponent’s net while the opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies. The 1.25-kilogram ball has noise bells which help orientate the players. For more information: paralympic.ca/goalball.
The women’s goalball team is led by Nancy Morin of Longueuil, Que., who is headed to her fifth Paralympic Games and was a member of the 2000 and 2004 gold medal-winning squads. Two-time world champions Whitney Bogart of Marathon, Ont., and Amy Burk of Charlottetown, P.E.I. are also key veterans headed to their third Games. Ashlie Andrews of Penticton, B.C., and Jillian McSween of Halifax were on the London 2012 squad while Meghan Mahon of Timmins, Ont. makes her Paralympic debut.
The men’s side is led by Bruno Haché of Montreal who heads to his fourth Paralympic Games. Rio will be a third Games for Brendan Gaulin of Laval, Que., and a second for Ahmad Zeividavi of Vancouver and Doug Ripley of New Westminster, B.C. Blair Nesbitt of Stony Plain, Alta., and Simon Richard of Dieppe, N.B. are headed to their first Paralympics.
“Canadian Blind Sports is very excited to be able to nominate these 12 players to represent Canada in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Paralympic Games,” said Shane Esau, High Performance Director, Canadian Blind Sports Association. “It is an honor bestowed on very few individuals and I know that these individuals have trained diligently and been dedicated to being the best athletes and goalball players they can be. I am excited about the prospects of our teams and know that they can improve on their placings from the London 2012 Paralympic Games if they play well. Congratulations to the 12 athletes and Good Luck in Rio.”
“Congratulations to our Canadian goalball athletes named to Team Canada today,” said the Honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “As you represent your country in Brazil, know that you’re an inspiration for all the young athletes at home from coast to coast to coast. Canada Blind Sports has done an outstanding job to prepare our athletes for Rio and I know their relentless spirits will shine at the Paralympic Games this summer.”