Find out more about CSI Pacific-affiliated athletes that competed in Rio. Content courtesy the Canadian Paralympic Committee

Athletics

Ness Murby

Athletics – F11 Discuss

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: May 27, 1994
Birthplace: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Residence: Salt Spring Island, BC
Classification: F11

BIOGRAPHY:
With over a decade dedicated to sports, many years in the education sector and in design, Ness Murby can easily be described as versatile. Born in Melbourne (Australia), she has spent the majority of her life living abroad and travelling widely within Asia, Europe and North America.

It is Murby’s drive, and welcome acceptance of a challenge, that has made her a world class athlete in four events (discus, javelin, shotput and powerlifting). She also represented Australia in goalball between 2005 and 2007, powerlifting and athletics.

She is the IBSA women’s powerlifting world champion and has broken world records at the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 World Championships and Games. Murby’s 2014 athletics season saw her break the Canadian F11 javelin record at the 2014 Nationals after having only started competing in the event in March (4 months earlier).

In 2015, she collected silver in the javelin and bronze in the discus at the Parapan American Games in Toronto. A few weeks later at the IPC World Championships she notched another silver in javelin.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan American Games… Powerlifting World Record Holder And Defending World Champion Equipped (2009-2012)…World Record Holder Unequipped (2015)

PERSONAL

Graduated as an Industrial Designer, Massage Practioner, Master Sports Trainer, and TESL educator. Worked with companies that include Cystic Fibrosis (Melbourne), Dentsu (Tokyo), V.I.C (Vancouver), E.W. Systems (Spain) and Okpanda (New York)… Resides on Salt Spring Island with her wife, guide dog (Lexington) and retired seeing eye dog (Verdi).

Guillaume Ouellet

Athletics – T13 1,500m & 5,000m

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: October 3, 1986
Birthplace: Sorel, QC
Residence: Victoriaville, QC
Classification: T13

BIOGRAPHY:
In 2015 Guillaume Ouellet produced a breakthrough season with the gold medal in the 1500m at the Parapan American Games and victory in the 5000m at the IPC World Championships. The visually impaired runner gained valuable experience at the 2013 IPC World Championships with a fourth place in the 1500-m final.

Ouellet has retinitis pigmentosa, which has left him with a field of vision of about 10 degrees.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan American Games… named Athletics Canada’s para-athlete of the year… 2013 and 2015 IPC World Championships…

PERSONAL

Has one son, Alex-Antoine… currently working part-time in a shoe store in Quebec City… Passion for baking, coffee and running off- course… Started running in college for Universite Laval cross-country team in 2011.

Tristan Smyth

Athletics – T54 1500m & 4x400m relay

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: May 31, 1986
Birthplace: Vancouver, BC
Residence: Lake Country, BC
Classification: T54

BIOGRAPHY:
Wheelchair racer Tristan Smyth made his national team debut in 2015 at the Parapan Am Games in Toronto and the IPC World Championships.

He discovered wheelchair sports during a rehabilitation stint at GF Strong after becoming injured in a skateboarding accident. Smyth is coached by Paralympic silver medalist Kelly Smith. His work ethic and determination have now put Smyth on the 2016 Paralympic Games team.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan American Games and IPC World Championships

PERSONAL

Incomplete paraplegic as a result of spinal cord injury… earned a diploma in renewable resources – forest technology option from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 2010

Liam Stanley

Athletics – T37 1500m

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: June 12, 1997
Birthplace: Victoria, BC
Residence: Victoria, BC
Classification: T37

BIOGRAPHY:
Liam Stanley will make his national team debut in para-athletics at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. He qualified for the team in the T37 1500-m. Stanley is coached by one of Canada’s beat-ever marathon runners Bruce Deacon, a two-time Olympian.

Stanley is best-known as one of the star players on Canada’s national para-soccer team. He was named the Canadian para-soccer player of the year in 2013 and 2014. He is known for his dedication and determination to improve as a player both on and off the field.

At the 2014 America Cup, his defensive abilities were instrumental in helping the team secure a fourth place finish and a berth at the 2015 CP World Championships. Stanley was also a member of the 2015 CP world championship team that placed 10th in England.

Stanley made his Team Canada para-soccer debut in 2011 at age 14 in a 4-2 victory over the U.S. He participated in several sports as a youngster and was five years old when he started playing soccer for Bays United.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan American Games… 2015 CP World Championships… 2013 and 2014 Canadian para-soccer player of the year.

PERSONAL

A stroke at birth left him with weakness on his right side… named the 2013 BC Youth Player of the Year

Michelle Stilwell

Athletics – T52 100m & 400m

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams, London 2012, Beijing 2008, Sydney 2000
Born: July 4, 1974
Birthplace: Winnipeg, MB
Residence: Parksville, BC
Classification: T52

BIOGRAPHY:
Michelle Stilwell was a member of the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team that won gold at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, the first female quadriplegic to do so.

Complications to her spinal cord injury forced her to switch sports after Sydney. Stilwell took up wheelchair racing and at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, won the 100 and 200-metre races in Games’ record times. Four years later she collected gold and silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

At the 2011 IPC World Championships in New Zealand, Stilwell won three gold and a silver, and lowered the world mark in the 200 metres. She was Canada’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies.

Stilwell became a quadriplegic at age 17 when she fell from a friend’s back while piggyback riding. A natural athlete, she says she always knew she would get back into sports, just in a different way.

Stilwell is now balancing her roles in politics and sport. She was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for British Columbia for Parksville-Qualicum on May 14, 2013 and was appointed Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation on February 2, 2015.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2000, 2008, 2012 Paralympic Games… 2015 Parapan American Games… The only Canadian female to have Paralympic gold medals from two separate summer sports (wheelchair basketball and para-athletics).

PERSONAL

Serves as an elected MLA for the riding of Parksville-Qualicum for the British Columbia legislature and is currently the Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation. Is married to her husband Mark and they have a son, Kai.

Cycling

Joanie Caron

Cycling – Road

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: April 27, 1984
Birthplace: Rimouski, QC
Residence: Rimouski, QC

BIOGRAPHY:
Joanie Caron started cycling at age 20 to maintain fitness following an injury in track and field. A veteran individual rider on the pro circuit, she decided to undertake a new challenge in 2015 as a pilot. Her first partner was Robbi Weldon and they raced two World Cup events. She then joined forces with visually-impaired rider Shawna Ryan to win the bronze medal in the mixed time trial at the Parapan American Games in Toronto.

The biggest influence in Caron’s career is American cyclist Tina Pic because she is generous with her advice and expertise. She also credits her track and field coach Jeannot Langlois, who often reminds her it is not only the results that count.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan American Games

PERSONAL

Graduated in kinesiology at université Laval in 2013… Still races pro for DNA Cycling based in Salt Lake City… Raced professionally in 2016 for the American-based team Fearless Femmes…

Goalball

Ashlie Andrews

Goalball

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams, London 2012
Born: January 4, 1993
Birthplace: Prince George, BC
Residence: Vancouver, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Ashlie Andrews was the top scorer in the women’s goalball tournament at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto with 22 goals. She led Canada to the bronze medal and a berth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Rio will be her second Paralympic Games apperance.

Andrews started playing goalball at age 10 at a Blind Sports Day Event, but it wasn’t really a success as she found it interesting but confusing wearing the eye shades. She made another attempt a couple of years later and went on to compete at the elite level in 2007 by age 14.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Won bronze medals at both 2011 and 2015 Parapan American Games… 2012 Paralympic Games… 2009 and 2010 World Youth Games…

PERSONAL

Grew up in the same house her father grew up in… Born legally blind and diagnosed with ocular albinism and nystagmus.

Brendan Gaulin

Goalball

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams, London 2012, Guadalajara 2011 Parapan Ams, Beijing 2008
Born: July 13, 1989
Birthplace: Montreal, QC
Residence: Vancouver, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Brendan Gaulin says his passion for sport has helped him improve his teamwork, leadership, and self-confidence. Gaulin first got involved in goalball in 2000, influenced by his sister, Sarah, who played on the Quebec team.

His sister and brother founded a recreational league in Montreal in 1999 and Gaulin quickly became passionate about the sport and took it to the next level, joining the national team.

Gaulin helped Canada win the bronze medal at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, which earned the team a berth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He was Canada’s top scorer in the tournament and fourth overall with 20 goals in six games.

Rio marks his third Paralympic Games appearance.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games… Won bronze medals at both the 2009 IBSA Pan American Games and the 2011 IBSA World Games…

PERSONAL

Just like his two brothers and his sister, Gaulin has albinism. Gaulin’s sight is estimated to be at 10%, a level that allows him some autonomy… Currently completing his Bachelors in Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University…

Doug Ripley

Goalball

Games: Rio 2016, London 2012
Born: November 15, 1973
Birthplace: Squamish, BC
Residence: New Westminster, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Doug Ripley is a veteran goalball player and athlete. In 2012, he competed at his first Paralympic Games in London. He waited 16 years for the opportunity after missing the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games with a stress fracture.

Ripley, who has juvenile macular degeneration, which means he’s unable to make out details in his central vision, began playing goalball at 17 and turned competitive in 2003, after having competed in para-athletics as a member of Team Canada from 1993 to1998.

When he isn’t training, Ripley works as a registered massage therapist and spends quality time with his daughter, Paige.

Before making the move to competitive goalball, Ripley competed in the 400m. His achievements include winning gold at the Kamloops Canada Games in 1993, placing sixth at the 1994 IPC Athletics World Championships in Berlin and eighth at the 1998 IPC Athletics World Championships in Madrid.

Ripley made the Canadian national goalball team with a splash in 2010, when his team won gold for the first time at Nationals and he was named MVP of the tournament.

He was part of Team Canada at the 2010 World Championships as well as the 2011 IBSA (International Blind Sports Federation) World Games, where Canada placed third and qualified for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2012 Paralympic Games

PERSONAL

Before making the move to competitive goalball, Ripley competed in the 400m. His achievements include winning gold at the Kamloops Canada Games in 1993, placing sixth at the 1994 IPC Athletics World Championships in Berlin and eighth at the 1998 IPC Athletics World Championships in Madrid.

Ahmad Zeividavi

Goalball

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams, London 2012, 2011 Guadalajara Parapan Ams
Born: September 3, 1985
Birthplace: Ahvaz, Iran
Residence: Coquitlam, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Ahmad Zeividavi began playing goalball at the age of 14 and went on to compete at the elite level in 2009. He pursued goalball because it is a Paralympic-only sport specifically for people with a visual impairment and he really enjoyed the sport right from the start. To Zeividavi, sport represents entertainment, fun, hard work, and teamwork. Sport has helped him feel pride and joy in representing his country.

One of Zeividavi’s most memorable moments in his goalball career was when Canada defeated the U.S. to qualify for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. Zeividavi has also competed at the IBSA World Championships and World Games.

He helped Canada win bronze at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, which earned the team a berth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2012 Paralympic Games… 2011 and 2015 Parapan American Games.

PERSONAL

Canadian national team member since 2010 after he emigrated from Iran.

Rowing

Curtis Halladay

Rowing

Games: Rio 2016
Born: February 14, 1995
Birthplace: Sudbury, ON
Residence: Sudbury, ON

BIOGRAPHY:
In 2015, Curtis Halladay helped Canada win a bronze medal in the LTA4+ (mixed coxed four crew) at the world rowing championships.

Just a few months earlier he set a world record in the para rowing Legs Trunk and Arms Physical Disability (LTA-PD) event at the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships in Mississauga, Ont., clocking 2:56.6. That qualified him for the world indoor rowing championships in Boston where he lowered the record again, clocking 2:56.1. Halladay beat his closest competitor by more than 10 seconds.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 world championship team member… world indoor rowing champion and world indoor record holder…

PERSONAL

Studies sport and physical education at Laurentian University…Has foot drop (paralyzed below the knee) after a major leg injury in a motorcross racing accident in May 2012.

Kristen Kit

Rowing

Games: Rio 2016, London 2012
Born: August 29, 1991
Birthplace: St.Catharines, ON
Residence: Victoria, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Kristen Kit is the coxswain for Canada’s LTA4+ (mixed coxed four) that will race at the Paralympic Games in Rio. Kit guided Canada to bronze at the 2015 World Championships in France and to seventh place at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

She also competed on the able-bodied side, helping Canada to bronze in women’s eights at the 2013 World Championships and bronze at the under-23 World Championships in 2010.

Kit began rowing in 2003 at the Sir Winston Churchill Rowing Club in St. Catharines, Ont. She says her proudest moment was winning a race as cox while representing the University of British Columbia at the Henley Royal Regatta.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 world championship team member… competed at London 2012 Paralympic Games

PERSONAL

Kit’s favorite thing about rowing is the “blend of the teamwork needed to achieve a result, the advantage that skill and technique bring in a race, and of course racing itself.”

Meghan Montgomery

Rowing

Games: Rio 2016, London 2012, Beijing 2008
Born: November 6, 1981
Birthplace: Winnipeg, MB
Residence: Shawnigan Lake, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Meghan Montgomery competed in both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games in the Leg/Trunk/Arms mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+) crew. She also won a world title in the same event at the 2010 World Rowing Championships. Overall she holds four world championship medals, won between 2006 and 2011.
Montgomery retired from competitive sport following the London 2012 Paralympic Games. She now teaches mathematics and coaches rowing at Shawnigan Lake School, on Vancouver Island. Montgomery returned to competition in 2015 and has worked her way back in to the crew that qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by winning bronze at the 2015 world championships.

Although originally from Winnipeg, Man., where she attended the University of Manitoba, Montgomery relocated to rowing’s Mecca of Victoria, B.C., to train on a regular basis at the national training centre on Elk Lake.

Montgomery says: Although I have won many medals and have been the first to achieve many things for Team Canada in para-rowing, this past year has been my biggest highlight. Coming out of retirement, achieving personal bests and being part of a growing and dynamic group of para rowers has been both the most challenging and rewarding months of my rowing career.”

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2008, 2012 Paralympic Games… five-time world championship team member

PERSONAL

Member of the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Athlete Council since 2009… Montgomery holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. Her disability is a congenital one, affecting her right hand. Works as a teacher at Shawnigan Lake School in B.C.

Victoria Nolan

Rowing

Games: Rio 2016, London 2012, Beijing 2008
Born: January 3, 1975
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Residence: Toronto, ON

BIOGRAPHY:
Victoria Nolan heads to her third Paralympic Games in Rio. She was also part of the LTA4+ (mixed coxed four) crew that placed sixth in Beijing 2008 and seventh in London 2012. She retired after the London 2012 Paralympic Games, but returned in 2015, helping the crew win bronze at the world championships which qualified them for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Between 2007 and 2015, Nolan won four world championship medals, including gold in 2010.

At 18 years old, Nolan was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. After the birth of her two children, her eyesight deteriorated significantly and left her with only three per cent vision. With a desire to be a good role model for her children, Nolan decided to take up a sport. While visiting a local rowing club, she learned about adaptive rowing and tried it out.

In February 2014, Nolan published her autobiography, titled “Beyond Vision”. She is certified as a special education teacher.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2008, 2012 Paralympic Games… Five-time world championship team member… The Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club’s Oarswoman of the Year in 2011 and Rowing Canada’s Adaptive Athlete of the Year in 2007.

PERSONAL

Nolan holds a Master’s Degree in Child Study and Education and a H.BSc (Specialist Cognitive Science).

Andrew Todd

Rowing

Games: Rio 2016
Born: June 13, 1989
Birthplace: Thunder Bay, ON
Residence: Ottawa, ON

BIOGRAPHY:
In May 2013, while he was battling for a berth on Canada’s men’s lightweight fours team, Andrew Todd was struck by a bus while cycling in London, Ont. He suffered several fractures to his right leg and pelvis. After more than 10 surgeries, he could not regain the same power in his right leg.

Still, he remained focused on sport and joined the para-rowing program with the Ottawa Rowing Club. In 2015, he earned a spot on the Canadian LTA4+ (mixed coxed four) crew. They went on to win a bronze medal at the 2015 world championships in France. In June 2016 they won gold at the World Cup III regatta in Poznan, Poland.

Todd started rowing in 2007 at the University of Ottawa.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 world championship team member

PERSONAL

Focused on sciences at University of Ottawa… 2015 Rowing Canada para-athlete of the year

Sailing

Jackie Gay

Sailing

Games: Rio 2016
Born: October 15, 1962
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Residence: Victoria, BC
Classification: Amputee

BIOGRAPHY:
Jackie sailed as a child in her father’s boats around the UK and Europe. ‘I love boats,’ says Jackie. However she was never involved in competitive racing until after her injury in 1994 when she lost her leg in a car accident in Africa. However, she began paralympic sailing and earned her way up the ranks as a 2.4mR sailor and knows now that she has the ability to succeed at the highest level. Jackie sails with her husband John McRoberts. They were awarded the 2013 Sail Canada Team of the Year. John and Jackie have qualified for Rio 2016.

John McRoberts

Sailing

Games: Rio 2016, Beijing 2008, Atlanta 1996
Born: September 14, 1962
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON
Residence: Victoria, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
In Rio, John McRoberts will be competing in his fourth Paralympic Games. He won a bronze medal in the two-person keelboat event at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games with Stacie Louttit and placed fourth at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He also sailed at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, winning silver, when sailing was a demonstration sport.

McRoberts was left a quadriplegic with limited arm movement at age 18 after diving into shallow water in Lake Erie. He learned to sail as a child, but his real passion was soccer, prior to his injury in 1981. He had sailed as a teenager and says he felt “like a duck out of water” when he moved to Victoria at age 30. McRoberts uses special poles to steer the boat.

Coming from a sporting family, McRoberts was always looking for a place he could shine, competing as a road racer and in wheelchair rugby before finding sailing again in the 1990s.

“Disabled sailing was in its early days then,” he says. “We have come so far, from strapping ourselves in any old tub to the bespoke high-performance boats we sail today. It’s amazing to be a part of this story and we’re nowhere near finished yet. What I love most about sailing is that out there I am a racer, the same as anyone else. With the right equipment anything is possible.”

McRoberts qualified for Rio with wife, Jackie Gay, in the SKUD-18 class. They were both honoured as 2013 Sail Canada Team of the Year.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Raced at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games when sailing was a demonstration sport, bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, fourth place at London 2012 Paralympic Games.

PERSONAL

McRoberts loves the outdoors. Apart from sailing, he also enjoys fishing for pacific salmon, walking his dog, birdwatching, and just generally being outside.

Bruce Millar

Sailing

Games: Rio 2016, London 2012, Athens 2004
Born: May 23, 1961
Birthplace: East York, ON
Residence: Victoria, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Bruce Millar is a Paralympic sailor who races in the highly competitive 2.4mR solo class. Millar is a native of Victoria, B.C., and learned to race when he was 10 years old, while growing up on Toronto Island and racing through RCYC Junior Club.

He suffered a crushed spine and became paralyzed in the crash of a hyperlight plane but in 1999 returned to sailing. Rio is Millar’s third Paralympic Games after representing Canada in London 2012 and Athens 2004.

Millar loves the challenge sailing provides. It gives him self-satisfaction and friendship while allowing him to see the world.

Shooting

Doug Blessin

Shooting

Games: Rio 2016, London 2012
Born: June 26, 1973
Birthplace: New Westminster, BC
Residence: Port Coquitlam, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
London 2012 Paralympian Doug Blessin started his parasport career in wheelchair rugby after he was injured in a car accident in December 1995. With the birth of his kids, life got busy, and Blessin temporarily retired from sport. When time permitted a return to competitive sports at age 37, he tried para-shooting.

Blessin is inspired by his teammate Chris Trifonidis, a six-time Paralympian who has unselfishly shared his wealth of shooting knowledge with him. Blessin is a family man who helps coach his twin sons’ (Jakob and Spencer) lacrosse team.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2012 Paralympic Games.

PERSONAL

Graduated in digital media productions from B.C. Institute of Technology. Recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Enjoys fly fishing.

Sitting Volleyball

Tessa Popoff

Sitting Volleyball

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: July 15, 1985
Birthplace: White Rock, BC
Residence: Langley, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Tessa Popoff owns The Learning Circle Child Care Centre in Langley, B.C. She has dedicated her life to working with children in different fields. She says early childhood education is the most rewarding field for her.

At 18, Popoff was in a car accident that resulted in her right arm being amputated. Popoff says she has realized over the years that with her disability, she can make a difference with children.

Popoff started playing sitting volleyball in 2014 when she was invited to a training camp. She was a member of Team Canada at the 2015 Parapan American Games which won bronze and qualified for the 2016 Paralympics.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan American Games.

Felicia Voss-Shafiq

Sitting Volleyball

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: April 25, 1980
Birthplace: Suva, Fiji
Residence: Burnaby, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Felicia Voss-Shafiq made her national team debut on the Canadian sitting volleyball team at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. She finished second in team scoring with 29 points as Canada won the bronze and qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

It was only in 2014 that Voss-Shafiq took up the sport on the recommendation of a physiotherapist. She played the abled-bodied version of the sport at the recreational level before her illness. She admits she was quite surprised to be wearing a Team Canada jersey so quickly.

Voss-Shafiq is a below the knee amputee and also has a disability in her right hand caused by a serious illness that occurred in 2011.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan American Games.

PERSONAL

Works in software support with SAP.

Swimming

Nathan Clement

Swimming

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: September 30, 1994
Birthplace: North Vancouver, BC
Residence: West Vancouver, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Nathan Clement’s first career international medal came at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, with a bronze in the 50-m butterfly. Just a few weeks earlier he gained more valuable experience as a member of Canada’s world championship team.

Clement made his national team debut in 2014 at the Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships in Pasadena, Calif. He reached three individual finals, placing fourth in the 50-m fly and sixth in both the 50-m free and 200-m individual medley, all with personal best times.

Clement took swimming lessons to help him regain mobility on his left side after he suffered a stroke caused by chicken pox at age two. His first international competition was the 2011 Can-Am Championships where he set five personal bests in six races. In 2013, Clement represented Team BC at the Canada Games.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 bronze in 50-m butterfly at Parapan American Games and world championship team member… Pan Pacific Para team in 2014…

PERSONAL

Clement’s mother is a triathlete while his father also competed in the Ironman and was a high level rugby and hockey player at the Ontario provincial level. He also has a brother in hockey and his sister is a gymnast…

Jonathan Dieleman

Swimming

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: March 13, 1985
Birthplace: Edmonton, AB
Residence: Vancouver, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Jonathan Dieleman made a spectacular international debut at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games with a silver medal in the 50-m breaststroke. That performance was a Canadian record, which he went on to better twice in early 2016. He dedicated his record performance at the 2016 Para-swimming team trials to his recently deceased grandfather.

The oldest of six boys, Dieleman grew up on a farm, was involved in 4-H and has played guitar since he was 13. A rodeo fan, he rode bareback and bulls before breaking his back in a dirt biking accident in 2010. Dieleman was four years old when he first learned to swim in a lake near his home. He returned to the pool about six months after his accident. Besides swimming, Dieleman also competes in para-triathlon.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 – silver medal in 50-m breaststroke at Parapan American Games.

PERSONAL

Grew up in Smithers, B.C… . Paralympic swimmer Scott Patterson is a training partner… After the Parapan American Games he moved to Richmond, B.C., and began training with coach Robert Pettifer at the Richmond Rapids Swim Club…

Tyler Mrak

Swimming

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams
Born: July 16, 1998
Birthplace: Surrey, BC
Residence: Aldergrove, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Tyler Mrak capped a brilliant 2015 season with three medals and seven finals at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games. He earned a silver in the 100-m breaststroke, and bronze in the 100-m backstroke and 400-m freestyle.

Mrak gained valuable experience in 2014 by competing for Canada at the Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships in Pasadena, Calif. He was one of the youngest swimmers on the team at age 16, but still reached five finals capped by a bronze medal in the S13 100-m breaststroke.

He is one of two Surrey Knights swimmers to make the Rio 2016 Canadian Paralympic Team for Toronto, along with Nathan Stein.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 Parapan Am Games… bronze medal in 100-m breaststroke at 2014 Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships and 2013 Canada Games.

PERSONAL

Ambition is to be an architect… Favorite subjects in high school include physics and astronomy… Started swimming at age nine with the Langley Flippers…

Nathan Stein

Swimming

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams, London 2012
Born: March 28, 1992
Birthplace: Maple Ridge, BC
Residence: Port Coquitlam, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
A steady improvement since injuries derailed his 2013 season has put Nathan Stein back in the medal picture for Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In 2015, he collected four silver medals at the Parapan American Games in Toronto and notched bronze medals in the 50-m and 100-m freestyles at the IPC World Championships.

At the Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships in Pasadena, the biggest event of the year for Canadian para-swimmers in 2014, Stein won two medals, lowering teammate Benoit Huot’s Canadian record in both. In the S10 100-m butterfly he took the gold and added a silver in the 100-m freestyle.

At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Stein won the silver medal in the 50-m freestyle in Canadian record time.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2012 Paralympic Games… 2015 Parapan American Games… 2010 and 2015 IPC World Championships… Named B.C. Swimming’s male para-athlete of the year in 2015… Named Swimming Canada’s male para-athlete of the year in 2014… As of May 2016 he held the Canadian records in the 50-m and 100-m freestyle and butterfly.

PERSONAL

He has a bone deficiency in one knee, a condition called osteochondritis dissecans… He has had several operations on the knee since he first broke it while playing football at age 11.

Table Tennis

Stephanie Chan

Table Tennis

Games: Rio 2016, Toronto 2015 Parapan Ams, 2011 Guadalajara Parapan Ams, 2007 Rio Parapan Ams
Born: July 30, 1957
Birthplace: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Residence: Richmond, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Chim-Hing (Stephanie) Chan acquired her disability at age four, but only began playing table tennis at the age of 44.

Having had a personal interest in the sport since she was a child, Stephanie decided to take up table tennis to keep active. Today, she is looking forward to representing Canada at the Parapan American Games and is striving to win a gold medal. The feeling of defeating challenging opponents is what feeds Stephanie’s desire to compete and reach higher levels.

In 2010, Stephanie competed at the Korea World Championships as well as the Copa Costa Rica, where she earned a gold medal. Stephanie also recently competed at the 2011 Canadian Championships, where she finished fifth in singles and third in the team event. Stephanie credits her success to her hard work and positive attitude.

Triathlon

Stefan Daniel

Triathlon

Games: Rio 2016
Born: February 22, 1997
Birthplace: Calgary, AB
Residence: Calgary, AB

BIOGRAPHY:
Stefan Daniel completed a dream season in 2015, winning the gold medal at the para-triathlon world championships in Chicago. He defeated his top rival – Germany’s Martin Schultz – for the first time in his career.

Born with bilateral radial club hands with his right arm significantly more affected, Daniel began para-triathlon in 2013 at age 16, after winning national titles in high school cross-country and gaining international experience in para-swimming. Local para-cycling coach Stephen Burke helped Daniel modify a racing bicycle to accommodate his disability and from there, his triathlon career took off.

Daniel won a bronze and silver medal in his first two trips to the para-triathlon worlds, in 2013 and 2014.

His world championship victory in 2015 in Chicago secured Canada a spot for the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games in Rio, where para-triathlon will make its official debut on the Games program.

The para-triathlon comprises a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

Also in 2015, Daniel won two golds and a silver medal at ITU World Para-triathlon Series events, in addition to the junior men’s national able-bodied triathlon title.

He comes from a very active family, began running in local road races with his parents at a young age and joined the University of Calgary Athletic Club.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 – World para-triathlon gold medallist… Canadian junior triathlon champion (able-bodied)… 2014 – World para-triathlon silver medallist.

PERSONAL

Daniel shares a close bond with his brother, Christian, who has cerebral palsy. Christian is also an accomplished para-swimmer and they have been able to travel and compete together as part of Swimming Canada’s national development team.

Wheelchair Basketball

Janet McLachlan

Wheelchair Basketball

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams, London 2012, 2011 Guadalajara Parapan Ams, Beijing 2008
Born: August 26, 1977
Birthplace: North Vancouver, BC
Residence: Giessen, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Janet McLachlan played stand-up basketball for the University of Victoria Vikes, winning national championships in 1998 and 2000. She was introduced to wheelchair basketball after suffering a serious knee injury while attempting to make Canada’s national rugby squad for the 2006 World Cup. A teammate suggested she try wheelchair sports to stay in shape while recovering.

McLachlan has been a member of the national wheelchair basketball team since 2008 and competed at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, where Canada finished fifth, and the 2012 Paralympic Games, where Canada finished sixth.

She was a member of the team that won gold at the 2014 World Championship, bronze in 2010 and a silver medal at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

In 2010 McLachlan helped the University of Alabama win back-to-back national wheelchair basketball championships and was named MVP. That same year she joined the Trier Dolphins, a semi-professional wheelchair basketball team in Germany.

McLachlan was the 2011 Wheelchair Basketball Canada Female Athlete of the Year and the 2009 BC Wheelchair Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2015 – 2nd place at Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canada (Team Canada)… 2014 – became first Paralympian to be named a finalist for the Sport BC Senior Female Athlete of the Year… 2014 – Canadian Wheelchair Sport Association Female Athlete of the Year… Named to the 2014 Women’s World Championship all-star team after leading all players in rebounding and finishing second in tournament scoring… 2012 – led all players at the Paralympic Games in points scored and rebounds… 2011 – Nominated for Sportswoman of the Year in the region of Trier, Germany… Named Wheelchair Basketball Canada Female Athlete of the Year in 2011 2013 and 2015… 2010 – led all players in scoring and rebounding at 2010 World Championship.

PERSONAL

McLachlan has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta… She attended the University of Alabama where she began a degree in interior design and discovered a love for the structural, spatial aspects of the discipline… She comes from an athletic family: her mother won both the Canadian over-65 singles and over-65 doubles tennis championships (2009) and has represented Canada at the World Senior Tennis Championships; her father played football for the University of British Columbia and was drafted to play in the CFL; he also played rugby at the provincial level for BC and New Zealand.

Wheelchair Rugby

Miranda Biletski

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016
Born: January 13, 1989
Birthplace: Regina, SK
Residence: Victoria, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Before she was injured in a diving accident, Miranda Biletski swam and played water polo competitively. While she was in a rehabilitation hospital after her accident, she saw the documentary “Murderball,” which had just been released. Biletski was hooked right there.

She made her Team Canada debut at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships and made the team again for the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. Though she was selected to the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games team, she was unable to compete due to injury.

Biletski is currently the only woman on Team Canada and is one of only a handful of women to play the sport at an elite level worldwide. At the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, she became the first woman to play in a gold medal game at a World Championships. Now, she’s training hard for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where she hopes to become the first woman to win a Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair rugby.

This year, Biletski traded the Saskatchewan cold weather for balmy Victoria. She attended Camosun College and has just transferred to the University of Victoria, where she plans to attain a BA in Health and Recreation.

McLachlan was the 2011 Wheelchair Basketball Canada Female Athlete of the Year and the 2009 BC Wheelchair Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Biletski’s two career highlights are competing in front of family and friends at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships and winning silver at the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. Though she was won several awards, she prefers to focus on her team’s results rather than her own personal accomplishments.

PERSONAL

Biltetski has a supportive group of friends and family who travel great lengths to cheer her on. She also has two four-legged supporters: her dogs Sadie and Max. Biletski enjoys inappropriate jokes, pierogis, cabbage rolls and feeding the fat seals who live near her house.

Ian Chan

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, London 2012, Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000
Born: May 8, 1977
Birthplace: Winnipeg, MB
Residence: Richmond, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Ian Chan became a quadriplegic after a motorcycle crash in 1992. At the age of 15, he was encouraged to try wheelchair rugby at the insistence of Duncan Campbell, the recreational therapist at G.F. Strong and the inventor of the sport. Chan instantly fell in love with wheelchair rugby and made the team in 1998, winning a bronze at the World Championships. Since then, he’s been a fixture of Team Canada.

Chan is the focus of the documentary Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop, an OMNI Television documentary focusing on Team Canada’s work ethic on their journey to the 2008 Bejing Paralympic Games. He also appeared in the documentary “Murderball”.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Chan’s highlight is winning gold at the 2002 World Championships, which was caught on tape for the movie “Murderball”.

PERSONAL

Chan is supported by his family and his teammates. Recently, he has started coaching BC athletes and hopes to expand his role in this area in the future.

Byron Green

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams
Born: April 26, 1984
Birthplace: Comox, BC
Residence: Vancouver, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Like many athletes in British Columbia, Byron Green was recruited to wheelchair rugby by the sport’s creator, Duncan Campbell. Though he initially wasn’t interested in wheelchair sports, his passion for wheelchair rugby was sparked when he moved Vancouver to studying engineering at the University of British Columbia.

Green made the team in 2013 and has won silver at the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships and gold at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. Already, he has earned a reputation as an intelligent, hard-working athlete who is the first to get to practice and the last to leave.

In addition to his rigorous training schedule, he also works as a civil engineer. Green also gives back to the community by recruiting new athletes, visiting rehabilitation hospitals and even coaching an introductory wheelchair rugby program. For his willingness to go above and beyond to help new athletes, he was awarded the 2013 Stan Stronge Award, which is given to an athlete with a strong sense of fairplay and a dedication to excellence.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Green’s career highlights are winning silver at the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships and gold at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. At the 2014 Coloplast Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championships, he was also named Best 0.5 Player.

PERSONAL

Green works as a civil engineer and lives in Vancouver with his wife Alana and his cat Pekoe. He likes cooking, eating, finding new restaurants, reading, watching sports and taking photos of his cat.

Trevor Hirschfield

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams, London 2012, Beijing 2008
Born: December 21, 1983
Birthplace: Langley, BC
Residence: Vancouver, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Trevor Hirschfield is the co-captain of Team Canada and is considered to be one of the best low-point players in the world. He was originally introduced to wheelchair rugby thanks to the sport’s co-inventor, Duncan Campbell, who was his recreation therapist at G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Center.

Hirschfield made the national team in 2006 and became the co-captain in 2012. On the court, he is known for his intelligence and his ability to “play up” and guard athletes with a higher point value. These talents have earned him several World Championship All Star awards. He has also been named the Sport BC Athlete of the Year twice. Last year, he became one of the first low-point players to be named an IPC Athlete of the Month.

As a former marketing student at Kwantlen College, Hirschfield is interested in new media and fashion trends. He has gained a loyal Instagram (@thirsch10) following for his “alternative” biographies of his teammates Hirschfield’s sense of humor was also on display in the lead-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, when he starred with teammate Travis Murao in the blog “Wheelchair Rugby Talk With Trev N’ Trav”.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Though he was won countless All Star Awards and was named the Sport BC Athlete of the Year With a Disability, Hirschfield says that his career highlight hasn’t happened yet. After getting a taste of gold at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, he is hungry for a gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

PERSONAL

Hirschfield lives in Vancouver with his wife Lisa and his bulldog Rootbeer. He is also supported by his father Bobby, who Team Canada’s equipment manager.

Fabien Lavoie

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams, London 2012, Beijing 2008, Athens 2004
Born: July 2, 1981
Birthplace: Kapuskasing, ON
Residence: Vancouver, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Fabien Lavoie began playing wheelchair rugby when he was still at a rehabilitation hospital following his spinal cord injury. Even though he was still in a halo and neck brace, he wasn’t scared of contact. He fell out of his wheelchair – much to the horror of the doctors and nurses – and was hooked. Just two years after his spinal cord injury, he was named as an alternate. The next year, he made the national team.

Since 2002, Lavoie has provided hard hits and passion to Team Canada. In the 14 years he’s been on the team, he’s captured two Paralympic silver medals, a Paralympic bronze medal, a World Championship silver medal, a World Championship bronze medal and a gold medal at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games.

Recently, Lavoie took his game to the next level when he moved to Vancouver to train. Today, he enjoys taking his dog to the dog park, playing video games and fishing. He’s also working on achieving another major milestone: earning his high school diploma.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Lavoie’s career highlight is competing at three Paralympic Games.

PERSONAL

Lavoie is the oldest of five children. He lives in Vancouver with his dog Chief. He’s grateful to his family and his friend Heather who looks after his dog when he’s traveling.

Zak Madell

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams, London 2012
Born: March 28, 1994
Birthplace: Edmonton, AB
Residence: Victoria, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
When Zak Madell was 10, he lost his fingers and legs to a septic staph infection. After his recovery, Madell first got involved in sledge hockey, but he was unable to hold the stick well enough to play at a high level. Next, he was introduced to wheelchair basketball, which appealed to his competitive nature and his love of speed. Finally, he was recruited to wheelchair rugby in 2011 and has experienced a meteoric rise in the sport ever since.

Despite having played for just over a year, he earned a spot on the team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The coaching staff originally intended to give Madell only limited playing time, but he consistently performed above expectations and handled the pressure of the Paralympics with a smile on his face. His performance was the wild card that lifted Canada to victory in its semi-final upset of the number one-ranked American team.

In just four short years, “The Kid” has established himself as one of the best wheelchair rugby players in the world. He was named MVP of the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Odense, Denmark, the 2014 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament and the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge. His biggest honor came when he was named Team Canada’s flagbearer of the Closing Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, after leading the team to its first gold medal in 13 years.

After graduating from Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks, Alberta, Madell moved to Toronto to train and attend Centennial College. Now, he is living in Victoria where he trains with teammates Miranda Biletski and Travis Murao.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Zak is roommates with teammate Travis Murao. He enjoys video games, spending time with his teammates and his friends, and avoiding teammate Miranda Biletski’s attempts to make him eat kale and brussel sprouts.

PERSONAL

Winning gold at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and being named Team Canada’s flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony… Winning silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Travis Murao

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams, London 2012
Born: January 12, 1983
Birthplace: Richmond, BC
Residence: Victoria, BC

BIOGRAPHY:
Travis Murao was introduced to wheelchair rugby by Duncan Campbell, one of the inventors of the sport. He started playing while still in G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Hospital and quickly became hooked on the intellectual side of the sport.

Murao is known for his sense of humour and his love of reading. He’s blogged about wheelchair rugby and starred in the humorous podcast “Wheelchair Rugby Talk with Trev n’ Trav” with his teammate Trevor Hirschfield.

Murao’s passion for both English Literature and wheelchair rugby took him to Tucson where he studied English at the University of Arizona and won a US Quad Rugby Association national championship title with the Tucson Pterodactyls. Now, he’s living in Victoria training full time in the hopes of capturing gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Murao has two career highlights: winning silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and winning silver at the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. His individual career highlight was winning Best 2.0 at the Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament.

PERSONAL

Murao loves to read, write slam poetry and cook. He is supported by his family.

Patrice Simard

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams, London 2012, Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000
Born: January 19, 1979
Birthplace: Alma, QC
Residence: Québec, QC

BIOGRAPHY:
Patrice Simard started playing wheelchair rugby in 1997 after he sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident. His athleticism and intelligence allowed him to climb quickly in the ranks. He made the national team in 1999.

Today, Simard is known for being one of the best low-point players in the world. His strength and quickness allow him to defend players well above his classification and he is one of the few low-point players to play a major scoring role. Simard’s veteran leadership will be crucial in Team Canada’s campaign to win gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Winning gold at the 2002 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, which was chronicled in the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Murderball.”

Simard has won several major international All Star awards, including Best 1.5 at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships.

PERSONAL

Simard lives in Quebec City. He enjoys working out, wheelchair tennis and spending time with family and friends.

Mike Whitehead

Wheelchair Rugby

Games: Rio 2016, 2015 Toronto Parapan Ams, London 2012, Beijing 2008, Athens 2004
Born: November 25, 1975
Birthplace: Harrow, ON
Residence: Hollis, NH, USA

BIOGRAPHY:
Before his spinal cord injury, Mike Whitehead was an avid multi-sport athlete who enjoyed basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer and badminton. He was introduced to wheelchair rugby when his future teammates, including David Willsie, came to visit him at the Parkwood Rehabilitation Hospital in London, Ontario.

Whitehead quickly became hooked on the contact and the level of competition and made the team just one year after his initial injury. Today, he works for VESCO Metalcraft measuring athletes for rugby wheelchairs.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Whitehead’s career highlight is winning medals at three consecutive Paralympic Games. He hopes to add a fourth to that list in Rio!

PERSONAL

Whitehead lives in Hollis, NH with his wife Kerri and his children Avary and Addison. The family recently adopted a dog.