Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, and Ravi Kahlon, two-time Olympian and Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, have released the following statement on the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing:
"On Friday, March 4, the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will begin in Beijing. Canada has assembled a strong team of competitors, who are poised to shine on the world stage with some amazing performances.
“B.C. athletes chosen to represent Team Canada at this month’s Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing include: Ina Forrest, from Vernon, a three-time medallist in wheelchair curling; Ethan Hess, Paralympic Nordic skier from Pemberton, who will compete in cross-country skiing as part of the nation’s formidable Paralympic Nordic team; and Tyler Turner, Paralympic snowboarder from Campbell River, who is fresh off his two gold- and one bronze-medal wins at the 2022 World Para Snow Sports Championships.
“Beyond the thrill and excitement of great competition, these Games represent stories of what it takes to become a world-class athlete. The Paralympics are filled with people who have beaten incredible odds to come out at the top of their respective sports. Many Paralympians have faced tremendous obstacles. By sheer determination, outstanding skill and undeterred drive they have emerged triumphant. Each has broken boundaries, shattered glass ceilings and pushed beyond limits to become one of the best in the world in their sport, all while displaying the true heart of a champion.
“It is also a great point of pride for all British Columbians that Josh Dueck, two-time B.C. Paralympian, has been named chef de mission of the 2022 Canadian Paralympic Winter Team. A pioneer in Paralympic alpine sit skiing, Dueck garnered international acclaim, not only for his gold- and silver-medal wins, but for making sport history by being the first para-alpine sit skier to complete a backflip.
“Our government knows first-hand the power of sport. That is why the Province commits over $800,000 annually to disability sport organizations to advance accessibility and increase equity throughout British Columbia. These investments create life-changing opportunities for people of all abilities and for high-performance athletes, such as B.C.'s Paralympians, so that they can shine and reach for the stars.
“Sport, especially in the Olympic and Paralympic arenas, brings forward shared values of respect, equality and excellence. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and their athletes who are competing in a time of unimaginable strife.
"On behalf of Premier John Horgan and our entire government, congratulations to Team Canada, and best of luck for a safe and successful Paralympic Winter Games. We know that all British Columbians join us in cheering you on at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.”
For up-to-date progress on B.C.-connected athletes at the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, as well as a list of upcoming events and current medal wins, visit: http://www.bcmedals.ca