Rio 2016: Strong showing for Team Canada at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
Sept. 18, 2016 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Triple gold medallist swimmer Aurélie Rivard led Team Canada in to the Opening Ceremony at Maracanã Stadium tonight in Rio. The 20-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu set two world records en route to winning three gold medals and a silver here in Rio.
Team Canada Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc announced Rivard as flagbearer in Rio Sunday morning, praising her for winning four medals and setting two world records during the swimming competition.
“Aurélie came to Rio completely prepared and ready to deliver,” said Petitclerc. “She performed at a world-class level consistently in the pool, breaking several records and leading by example in her professionalism and focus. I am extremely proud of Aurélie and I am a great admirer of her character, her perseverance and dedication to excellence.”
Competing in her second Paralympic Games, the 20-year-old Rivard won gold in the S10 50-metre freestyle and the S10 400-m freestyle, setting world records in each. She also won the S10 100-m freestyle in a Paralympic Games record and came second in the S10 200-m individual medley.
“This is such an honour,” said Rivard, who was born missing her left hand. “I would have never imagined myself carrying the flag at the Games when I started swimming. We saw some great performances for our team and many people deserve this. So many legends have done it. I’m thrilled that I’m part of history.”
Canada finishes these Games with 29 medals (eight gold, 10 silver, 11 bronze) to rank 14th among nations in the total medal count, surpassing the team’s performance goal of top 16.
“On behalf of Team Canada, I’d like to thank Brazil and Rio 2016 for hosting such fantastic Games,” said Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc. “The stands were full, volunteers were friendly and we felt welcome and supported at all times.
“I’ve also been very impressed by the excellence and professionalism of Team Canada coaches and support staff, which ensured that our Canadian athletes could focus on delivering world-class performances.
“And to all our athletes – congratulations and well done. Many achieved lifetime bests, others fought hard and fell short of their goals, and I admire them all. The bar is continuously being raised in Paralympic sport and the depth of field continues to increase with every Games. Team Canada’s athletes are outstanding role models for all Canadians and I am proud of all 162 of them.
“Thank you also to all the friends and family, government and sport partners, and corporate sponsors and suppliers, as well as media partners who have supported Team Canada every step of the way. None of this would be possible without you.”
– Four Canadian medallists are under age 20: Liam Stanley (athletics), Tess Routliffe (swimming), Nicholas-Guy Turbide (swimming) and Stefan Daniel (triathlon).
– The cycling team had its best Paralympics ever, with nine medals. Tristen Chernove emerged as a new star with three medals – gold, silver and bronze.
– Sprint stars Michelle Stilwell and Brent Lakatos were multiple medalists in wheelchair racing. Stilwell won two golds and Lakatos won gold, silver and two bronze.
– Two sailing crews are coming home with medals, a silver for the 2-person keelboat (SKUD18) and a bronze for the 3-person keelboat (Sonar).
– Canada won its first-ever Paralympic medal ever in rowing, a bronze.
– Canada medalled in one of the two new Paralympic sports: a silver in triathlon by Stefan Daniel.
– Five-time Paralympic swimmer Benoit Huot won his 20th Paralympic medal, a bronze.
– Swimmer Katarina Roxon of Newfoundland and Labrador won gold in her third Paralympic Games, her first Paralympic medal.
– Canadian athletes were supported onsite by more than 350 friends and family.
– Back home, the team had unprecedented coverage with more than 200 hours on television and 1,000 hours online.