The Canadian Paralympic Committee is pleased to announce that wheelchair rugby player Zak Madell of Okotoks, Alta., has been named Team Canada’s flag bearer for the 2015 Parapan American Games Closing Ceremony.
Canada concluded its most successful Parapan Am Games finishing second in the overall medal count behind Brazil and ahead of the U.S. Canada set a bold objective of a top 3 overall standing for the 2015 Parapan Am Games. Team Canada collected a total of 168 medals (50 Gold, 63 Silver, and 55 Bronze).
“I am incredibly proud to be the flag bearer and to lead Team Canada out in the closing ceremonies,” said Madell. “Team Canada has achieved amazing results and I am very proud to be part of the Toronto 2015 Games.”
The 21-year-old Madell led Canada’s wheelchair rugby team to the gold medal at the Games scoring 34 of his team’s points in a 57-54 victory over arch-rival the United States. His 109 goals were second overall in the tournament.
In less than five years, “The Kid” has established himself as one of the best wheelchair rugby players in the world. His speed, passing, catching and hitting abilities are all crucial for Team Canada.
“Zak Madell embodies what it is to be a flagbearer. He is a phenomenal athlete and well respected leader,” said Elisabeth Walker-Young, Chef de Mission for Team Canada. “Everyone in the stands witnessed his impact on game changing plays. He’s passionate about Paralympic movement and dedicated to making himself and his teammates better. We’re are excited to see him compete as part of Team Canada in Rio.”
Canada Second Overall In Medals
The Canadian team performed beyond all expectations at its home Games.
“I’m very proud of team Canada. Our goal was top 3 and we finished with a number 2 spot. It was a great opportunity to rehearse every aspect of a major international Games, from being on a team with other sports, to living in an athlete village and travelling to completion venues, this has prepared our athletes to be their best in Rio at the 2016 Paralympic Games,” adds Walker-Young.
Other highlights included six gold medals and a world record for Aurelie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., as she led the para-swimming athletes to an incredible 91-medal performance.
There was also triple gold for Brent Lakatos and Alexandre Dupont on the track and Daniel Chalifour and his guide Alexandre Cloutier in para-cycling.
Canada’s strong showing also included medals in table tennis, judo, sitting volleyball, goalball, wheelchair tennis, para-archery, boccia and wheelchair basketball.
Onwards To Rio 2016
“There has been a tremendous investment in the preparation of our athletes in the lead up to the games and we have seen some positive results here in Toronto,” said Gaetan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
“The 2015 Organizing committee has done a phenomenal job at creating a world class environment on and off the competition field. We are greatly appreciative of the immense support from all levels of government, corporate partners, the CBC/Radio-Canada, volunteers and the Canadian fans.”
Our sights are now set on Rio and the path ahead is clear for what we need to do. The field of play will be different in Rio for these games and we are planning accordingly,” adds Tardif.
The Parapan Amercian Games also served as a qualifier for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Canada secured a spot in Men’s and Women’s Wheelchair Basketball, Women’s Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Goalball, Wheelchair Rugby, as well as the Women’s class 7 spot in Table Tennis.
The Closing Ceremony will take place in a free show at Nathan Phillips Square.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Paralympic Committee Website | Paralympic.ca