On the heels of a successful Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and looking ahead to Canada’s 150th birthday next year, the Canadian Paralympic Committee is pleased to celebrate today’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, as we continue to work with our partners on becoming a world leading Paralympic nation.
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been celebrated annually on Dec. 3 around the world, focusing on building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities. Through the sporting lens, progress continues in advancing the Canadian Paralympic movement:
– In the area of high performance sport, Team Canada’s preparations are well underway for the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018 and the Paralympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan in 2020, as well as the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games in Peru. Visits, investments and consultations will support our member sports in equipping athletes and coaches for podium success.
– As our summer athletes celebrate their results in Rio, Canada’s winter Paralympic athletes have already embarked on their quest to qualify for PyeongChang and fine-tune their preparations. In Charlottetown, PEI, Canada’s National Sledge Team opens the World Sledge Hockey Challenge on Sunday, Dec. 4 against Norway in round-robin play.
– The Paralympic Foundation of Canada’s “Giving All Kids a Sporting Chance” fundraising campaign continues through the holiday season, with proceeds going to the Parasport Jumpstart Fund. The fund supports the costs of sports and recreational programs for children with a disability who are financially disadvantaged. To donate, visit: paralympic.ca/giving-all-kids-
– Enhancing the visibility and awareness of Canadian Paralympic athletes continues on all platforms. This New Year’s Eve, Paralympians will have roles in the Canada 150 New Year’s Eve event and national broadcast on Parliament Hill. Fans can also look forward to the Paralympic Chef de Mission announcement for PyeongChang 2018, in early 2017.
“As we reflect on today’s important annual milestone, it is clear that while much progress has been made domestically and internationally in Paralympic sport, there is still great opportunity to advance,” said Karen O’Neill, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “We look forward to continuing to work with our sport and corporate partners and all levels of government on upcoming Games and to improve the critical area of accessibility of sport for all Canadians in both facilities and programming.
“In 2017, Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary as a nation. We are proud that Canada has been a leader in its commitment to improving the lives of people with a disability. We must continue to raise the bar and keep competitive, both on and off the field of play.”