OTTAWA – With one year to go until the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games set for March 9 to 18, 2018, the Canadian Paralympic Committee is looking forward with great excitement to competing in South Korea.
Five sports are on the Paralympic Winter Games program: wheelchair curling, Para ice hockey (formerly known as sledge hockey), Para alpine skiing, Para snowboard and Para Nordic skiing, which includes cross country and biathlon events.
Canada expects to send a full team of 50 to 60 athletes, competing in all sports – and preparations are well under way.
“Today is an exciting milestone because Canadian winter athletes and PyeongChang hopefuls are in the midst of their competitive season right now,” said Team Canada’s Chef de Mission, Todd Nicholson. “We’ve had three world championships so far, in Nordic skiing, alpine skiing and Para snowboard, with some very encouraging results. As well, four of our five sports are in PyeongChang at this moment, gaining valuable experience at world championships or World Cups, which are serving as test events.”
PYEONGCHANG TEST EVENTS
– March 4-11: World Wheelchair Curling Championship, PyeongChang, South Korea
– March 8-13: IPC Snowboard World Cup Finals, PyeongChang, South Korea
– March 9-18: IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals, PyeongChang, South Korea
– March 10-15: IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup, PyeongChang, South Korea
– April 11-20: World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool, Gangneung, South Korea
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games are expected to attract up to 670 athletes competing in 80 medal events. At the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Canada placed third in the overall medal standings with seven gold, two silver and seven bronze. Canada’s performance goal for PyeongChang will be set once the current winter season is finished and results analyzed.
2017 PARALYMPIC WINTER SEASON HIGHLIGHTS TO DATE
– Para alpine: At the January 2017 world championships in Tarvisio, Italy, Canada won 11 medals, for second in the country standings, including four gold and a silver by Mac Marcoux and his guide Jack Leitch.
– Para Nordic: At the February 2017 world championships in Finsterau, Germany, Canada won seven medals, for fifth in the country standings, including two gold apiece by Brian McKeever (with guide Graham Nishikawa) and Mark Arendz. Arendz won five medals total and Canada won its first ever relay medal.
– Para snowboard: Canada hosted the world championships at Big White, B.C. in January 2017 and had two fourth-place finishes, from Michelle Salt and Alex Massie.
“Having been involved in the Paralympic movement for most of my life-first as an athlete, then as a volunteer and administrator and now as Canada’s Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities-it’s not surprising that I am very excited for our athletes as they sharpen their skills and turn their focus to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough.
“They are a tremendous source of pride for all Canadians-especially for our young people living with disabilities, who are shown what is possible when they get involved in sport.”
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee: Paralympic.ca