Olympic fever continues in PyeongChang, as 24 athletes with connections to British Columbia get set to compete at the 2018 Paralympic Games.
The Games bring together 670 athletes from around the globe, participating in six sports, from March 9-18.
“We are excited to cheer on our B.C. athletes as they embark on a memorable experience in PyeongChang,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Reaching this highest level of competition is a great achievement. We are so proud of our Paralympians and wish them all the best of luck.”
Forty-three per cent of Team Canada’s 55 athletes have a connection to British Columbia. Six BC Games alumni will be competing at the Games, including four who have competed for Team BC at the Canada Winter Games.
B.C. athletes will participate in five sports, including: Para Alpine Skiing, Para Ice Hockey, Wheelchair Curling, Cross Country and Para Snowboard. Team Canada has historically had a strong showing at the Paralympic Winter Games, placing third overall at Sochi in 2014 and Vancouver in 2010.
“These athletes are a true inspiration for all Canadians. Each has an incredible story of perseverance and dedication,” said Canadian Sport Institute Pacific CEO Wendy Pattenden. “We are privileged to work with them and know they will continue the trend of success that Team Canada had in February.”
The B.C. government invests more than $50 million annually in sport. This includes funding for provincial sport organizations that develop athletes and coaches to progress from provincial to national teams and competitions. The large number of B.C. athletes heading to PyeongChang with Team Canada is a reflection of the support provided by the provincial sport system.
“The incredible number of Team Canada athletes with a B.C. connection heading to PyeongChang for the Paralympics underscores B.C.’s commitment to ensuring that people living with disabilities have quality opportunities to participate in – and thrive in – sport,” said Sheila Bouman, viaSport CEO.
- 24 B.C.-connected athletes are competing in PyeongChang.
- B.C.-connected athletes comprise 43.6% of Team Canada.
- 10 athletes were born in B.C. or call B.C. home, while 14 are from outside the province, but train in B.C. with Canadian Sport Institute Pacific.
- Six BC Games alumni are on the team:
- Braydon Luscombe participated in the 2006 and 2008 BC Winter Games and the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
- Alex Cairns participated at the 2014 BC Winter Games.
- Mel Pemble participated in the 2014 BC Winter Games and the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
- Ethan Hess participated in the 2014 BC Summer Games, the 2014 BC Winter Games and the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
- Emily (Weekes) Young participated in the 2006 BC Summer Games and the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
- Natalie Wilkie participated in the 2016 BC Winter Games.
- B.C.-connected Paralympians have direct connections to nine communities in B.C., including: Armstrong, Duncan, Pemberton, Quesnel, Salmon Arm, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Victoria.
- B.C. -connected athletes are participating in five sports: Alpine Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, Wheelchair Curling, Cross-Country Skiing, and Snowboard.
- During the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, Team Canada brought home seven gold, two silver and seven bronze medals, and placed third overall
For a complete list of British Columbia-linked athletes on the Canadian Paralympic Team: http://www.csipacific.ca/wp-content/uploads/CSI-Pacific-CPC-Paralympic-List-Tracking-date-PyeongChang-2018.pdf
The Games’ schedule can be found here: https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/paralympics/schedule
To learn more about the Canadian Paralympic Team, visit: www.paralympics.ca
To learn more about the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/tourism-arts-culture