A new year is upon us and it’s already shaping up to be an exciting year for Paralympic sport in Canada! Here are just five reasons to look forward to what’s to come in 2019:
Cheer on Canada’s Para nordic skiers on home soil
The best biathletes and cross-country skiers in the world will be heading to Prince George, BC as Canada hosts the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships for the first time. Set for February 16-24 in Prince George, BC, approximately 140 athletes will be descending upon Canadian soil.
The nation’s Para nordic team has had these world championships circled on the calendar for some time, and making the podium is the goal. Among those competing will be PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games medallists Brian McKeever, Mark Arendz, Natalie Wilkie, Emily Young, Brittany Hudak, and Collin Cameron.
Americas comes together for the Parapan Am Games
It has already been almost four years since Toronto was home to the Parapan Am Games, and Lima is taking over the hosting duties this year. The biggest multi-sport Games for Canada outside of the Paralympic Games, the Parapan Am Games will be a chance for many of Canada’s top athletes to prove their mettle as well as Next Gen athletes to earn international Games experience.
A Paralympic Games qualifier for many sports, among the competitions to watch will be the wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby tournaments.
World titles on the line in swimming and athletics
Two of the summer’s premier sports, swimming and athletics, have world championships in 2019 and Canada’s best will be in line for medals.
The World Para Swimming Championships are heading to Kuching, Malaysia from July 29 to August 4. Leading the way will be Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony Flag Bearer Aurelie Rivard, as well as 2018 Swimming Canada Para Swimmers of the Year Nicolas-Guy Turbide and Shelby Newkirk, to name a few.
A few months later, Canada’s Para athletics athletes, such as wheelchair racing superstar Brent Lakatos, will be travelling to Dubai for their world championships from November 7-15.
A busy post-Paralympic Games season in winter sport
It’s the first year of a new quadrennial for Canada’s winter athletes, and a year after posting Canada’s best-ever Paralympic Winter Games with 28 medals, the nation’s winter athletes are back at it. All five winter Para sports are holding world championships over the next few months, with important medals on the line.
First up is Para alpine starting January 21, followed by Para nordic in February, wheelchair curling from March 3-9, Para snowboard at the end of March, and Para ice hockey rounding out the 2019 winter world championships calendar from April 28 – May 5.
More live coverage of Paralympic sport
Canadians will be able to follow the exploits of the country’s best para athletes more than ever, with several key events set to be livestreamed across the country. Last year saw events like the wheelchair basketball and rugby world championships broadcast live via Facebook.com/CDNParalympics and CBCSports.ca and it will be more of the same in 2019. Stay tuned for announcements throughout the year as competitions from different sports are added to the schedule!