49 Ontario athletes to compete for gold in Rio Paralympics

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Jason Dunkerley (with guide Josh Karanja)

Ontario is sending a strong contingent of athletes to compete for gold at the XXV Paralympic Summer Games, which start on  September 7 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, said: “I look forward to cheering on Ontario’s athletes and coaches on Team Canada at the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games. Their dedication, discipline and commitment to excellence are an inspiration to all Canadians and generations of future Paralympians. Building on their remarkable performance at the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games, I know they will make us proud.”

This year, 49 of the 162 athletes that will compete at the Games for Team Canada hail from Ontario, and 45 receive Quest for Gold funding, including:

  • Jason Dunkerley, the Ottawa runner who is the current Canadian record holder for the T11 800m, 1500m and 5000m.
  • Priscilla Gagné, a Sarnia judoka who won silver at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
  • Whitney Bogart, a 2015 Parapan Am Games Goalball gold medalist from Thunder Bay.
  • Melanie Hawtin, Ontario’s lightning-fast wheelchair basketball player from Oakville who won silver with Team Canada at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.

    Whitney Bogart

Supporting the development of sport and athletes is part of Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan to help more Ontarians participate and excel in sport.

Last summer’s TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games were an important springboard for many of the Team Canada athletes competing in Rio.  Athletes gained unique experience at a high-pressure international multi-sport competition, and achieved a top-two finish for Canada and a record medal count, with Ontario athletes contributing to close to half. As well, 25 new or renovated sports facilities — such as the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and the York University Stadium — are long-lasting legacies of the 2015 Games, serving the local community and providing important training facilities for high-performance athletes.

  • From September 7-18, up to 4,350 athletes from more than 161 countries, and a refugee team, will compete in 22 sports at the XXV Paralympic Summer Games.
  • Since 2006, Quest for Gold has provided Ontario athletes and coaches approximately $100 million in support.
  • Ontario has tripled its support for amateur sport from $8.78 million in 2003 to $28 million in 2015-16.
  • Ontario Olympians contributed to 15 of Team Canada’s total 22 medals at the XXXI Olympic Games, including four gold, two silver and nine bronze.


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