GOLD COAST, Australia – Aurélie Rivard, Kyle Whitehouse and Stephanie Chan are among the record number of 22 Canadian Para athletes who will compete in three sports at the Commonwealth Games set for April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.
The Para swimming group includes eight members of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games team. Quadruple world-record holder Rivard, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., won four medals in Rio and was Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.
Rivard, Morgan Bird of Calgary and Rio gold medallist Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L. all represented Canada at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Other Para swimmers on the squad are Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., Sarah Girard of Montreal, Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., Samantha Ryan of Saskatoon, Abi Tripp of Kingston, Ont., Jean-Michel Lavallière of Quebec City, Philippe Vachon of Blainville, Que., and Zach Zona of Waterford, Ont.
“The 11 swimmers who will compete in the Para-swimming events in the pool bring a wealth of international experience to the team,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson.
Also of note Para swimming legend Benoit Huot is serving as Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada.
In Para athletics, Whitehouse, from St. Catharines, Ont., is scheduled to race in the T38 100-m. He is joined by David Bambrick of Wolfville, N.S., Alexandre Dupont of Clarenceville, Que., Jessica Frotten of Whitehorse, George Quarcoo of Toronto (with guide Adam Johnson), Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., Tristan Smith of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Kevin Strybosch of London, Ont.
“The Commonwealth Games have a very inclusive spirit,’’ said Diane Roy, three-time Commonwealth Games medallist. ‘’We share training facilities, compete in the same stadium and live in the village.
‘’Our medals are part of the overall medal count and I take a lot of pride in that.’’
There are two Canadians competing in Para table tennis: Stephanie Chan of Richmond, B.C., and Ian Kent of Eastern Passage, N.S.