OTTAWA - Swimming Canada announced today that 24 swimmers have been nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee for inclusion on its 2012 London Paralympic Team.
The selection process for Canadian swimmers was based on the performances at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Trials held last March in Montreal.
Following IPC Swimming confirmation of qualification slot numbers toCanada, a total of 9 men and 15 women will represent Canada in the pool between August 30 to September 8 in London.
"The 2012 Canadian Paralympic trials were the most competitive ever in Canadian Para-swimming history and the result is a team that is high quality mix of multi-games Paralympians and first timers. They are excited to swim very fast and assist Canada in reaching the goal of being within the top 8 in the gold medal standings at the Games" said Craig McCord, Swimming Canada's Para-swimming National.
"Canada has a strong tradition in the pool," said Gaetan Tardif, Chef de Mission of the 2012 Canadian Paralympic Team. "The London Games are set to be the largest-ever with 4,200 athletes from 160 countries competing, so whilecompetition will be tough, I am confident that our athletes in the pool will be a major contributor to our nation's success at the Games and I am proud to welcome their nomination to Team Canada."
Over 900 athletes Worldwide produced qualifying standards for the London Games with 593 spots available. This summer, a total of 66 countries will compete in the various swimming events at the Paralympics in London making it the most competitive games ever.
"Beijing was a competitive meet and based on the advancement of world performance, we can expect a battle of epic proportions at the Aquatic Centre in London," added McCord. "There will be no easy swims in London and the value ofParalympic medals has risen exponentially over the last few Games."
Canada's Paralympic swimmers have already sent a strong message to world last March during the trials. Four-time Paralympian Benoit Huot of Montreal eclipsed the World Record in the 200IM and Summer Mortimer of Ancaster, ON lowered her World record mark in the 50 freestyle.
"I'm really stoked to be competing at my fourth Paralympic Games. It's a real honour to represent my country and I will savour every moment," said Huot, who first competed at the Games in Sydney in 2000. "The Paralympic sport movement has evolved tremendously since I began and an International competitor. It's wonderful to be part of it."
"This being my first games, I couldn't be more excited," said quadruple World Champion, Summer Mortimer. "Our team is amazing and were a country to watch out for."
"I can't wait to experience the excitement and spirit of the athletes and competition and embrace the positive energy of the games," added Mortimer.
While the 24 swimmers have returned to their respective home pools to prepare for London, the team will reunite in Winnipeg at the end of July tocompete at the Speedo Can/Am Para-swimming Championships.
Team Roster (Name; Residence/Hometown; Coach)
- Camille BERUBE (Gatineau, QC; Michel Bérubé)
- Morgan BIRD (Calgary, AB; Kristina Crook)
- Valerie DRAPEAU (Longueuil, QC; Claude Picard)
- Valerie GRAND'MAISON (Montreal, QC; Peter Carpenter)
- Brianna JENNETT-MCNEILL (Gatineau, QC/Russell, ON; Michel Bérubé)
- Kirstie KASKO (Okotos, AB/High River, AB; Todd Melton)
- Sarah MAILHOT (Quebec City, QC; Mark-Andre Pelletier)
- Sarah MEHAIN (Vernon, BC; Renate Terpstra)
- Summer MORTIMER (Ancaster, ON; Reg Chappell)
- Jana MURPHY (Victoria, BC; Gord Veldman)
- Brianna NELSON (Victoria, BC; Gord Veldman)
- Aurélie RIVARD (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu; France Latendresse)
- Katarina ROXON (Stephenville, NL; Leonard Roxon)
- Rhea SCHMIDT (Winnipeg, MB; Vlastimil Cerny)
- Amber THOMAS (Drayton Valley, AB; Chris Nelson)
- Isaac BOUCKLEY (Port Hope, ON/Oshawa, ON; Rob Masson)
- Devin GOTELL (Gatineau, QC/Antigonish, NS; Michel Bérubé)
- Michael HEATH (Woodstock, ON/Ingersoll, ON; Joni Maertens-Sanders)
- Brian HILL (Montreal, QC/Duncan, BC; Sébastien Messier)
- Benoit HUOT (Longueuil, QC; Pierre Lamy)
- Zachary MCALLISTER (Lethbridge, AB; Brad Mori)
- David Scott PATTERSON (Vancouver, BC; Marianne Wieland de Alvarez)
- Nathan STEIN (Maple Ridge, BC; Reg Shaw)
- Donovan TILDESLEY (Vancouver, BC; Kevin Johns)