Paralympians and world champions Katie Harnock, Jamey Jewells, Adam Lancia and Janet McLachlan are hanging up their jerseys after announcing their retirements from the Canadian National Wheelchair Basketball Teams.
A multiple Paralympic medallist, Lancia dedicated 20 years to playing with the men’s national team program. The veteran trio of women were all key contributors to the decorated history of the Canadian women’s program, including propelling Team Canada to the top of the podium on home soil at the women’s world championship in 2014 in Toronto.
“On behalf of Wheelchair Basketball Canada, I thank Adam, Katie, Jamey and Janet for their dedication to excellence and their many contributions to our sport and the national team program,” said Wheelchair Basketball Canada Executive Director Wendy Gittens. “Our community congratulates them on their great basketball careers with Team Canada and wishes them much success in the next chapter of their lives.”
Lancia competed at four Paralympic Games and three world championships since joining the Senior Men’s National Team in 2001. He is a two-time Paralympic gold medallist from Athens 2004 and London 2012, as well as a silver medallist from Beijing 2008. He captured a world championship crown in 2006 and a bronze medal in 2002. The native of Scarborough, Ont. began his Team Canada career with the junior men’s program, winning gold medals at the junior men’s world championships in 1997 and 2001.
“My story with the national team started with the first-ever junior world championship and stretched all the way forward to the most recent Paralympics in Rio,” said Lancia. “Those 20 years spanned some drastic change in the sport and I’m glad to have been a part of it. I could never think of another way that I would have liked to have spent those 20 years. The friends I have made and lost, and the places and experiences shared with those friends who became my family are irreplaceable.
“Those 20 years spanned some drastic change in the sport and I’m glad to have been a part of it. The friends I have made and lost, and the places and experiences shared with those friends who became my family are irreplaceable.” -Adam Lancia
“I really don’t have the words to describe how thankful and grateful I am for the opportunity to have been a part of such a great team. It is said that actions speak louder than words, which is one of the reasons I have gotten into coaching. I hope to coach for a very long time so I can give back to the sport a fraction of what I have been given by it. Thank you to every coach, manager, administrator, and especially player who has been around and contributed to my career. I really couldn’t have imagined any of this when I first tried the sport way back when. Thanks for the great ride!”
A native of Elmira, Ont., Harnock leaves the international game as a three-time Paralympian (2008, 2012 and 2016) and a two-time world champion (2006 and 2014) after making her debut for the Senior Women’s National Team in 2006. A versatile shooter, she was a world championship all-star in 2014 and also owns a world championship bronze medal from 2010.
“It has been a distinct honour and pleasure to have been able to represent my country,” said Harnock. “I will forever be grateful to the friends, coaches and teammates I have met and made along the way, who continually pushed and supported me, and the rest of us, through the wonderful and crazy adventure that is international basketball. I wish both the men’s and women’s teams the very best of luck in what I am certain will be a very bright future.”
“I will forever be grateful to the friends, coaches and teammates I have met and made along the way, who continually pushed and supported me, and the rest of us, through the wonderful and crazy adventure that is international basketball.” -Katie Harnock
McLachlan, of Vancouver, B.C., established herself as one of the top players in the world as a dominant point producer and rebounder. She made her first appearance for Team Canada in 2008 and went on to compete at three Paralympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016. She captured gold and bronze medals at the world championships in 2014 and 2010, respectively, and was named to the world championship all-star team in 2014.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to put on the Canadian jersey for the last eight years and to be a part of such a historic program,” said McLachlan. “It was a tough decision to make but the timing feels right. I will miss my teammates and staff, the fun and adventures we have had over the years and being a part of Team Canada.
“Few things can ever top walking into a stadium full of tens of thousands of cheering people, friends at your side and Canada across your chest, or winning a world championship on home soil.” -Janet McLachlan
“Few things can ever top walking into a stadium full of tens of thousands of cheering people, friends at your side and Canada across your chest, or winning a world championship on home soil. I will be forever thankful for the support of my family and friends and look forward to whatever adventures lie ahead.”
Jewells first joined Team Canada in 2011, earning roster spots on both the senior and junior women’s teams. That year she represented Canada at the inaugural world championship for junior women and was named to the tournament all-star team. With the senior team she competed in two Paralympic Games at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and reached the top of the podium at the women’s world championship in 2014.
“I am most thankful for the opportunities that arose for me by representing the national team,” said Jewells. “My years with Team Canada have shaped me into the person I am today. Who would have ever thought that a kid from Donkin, N.S. would end up travelling the world, going to two Paralympics, winning a world championship, and going to school in U.S. on a scholarship? I am thankful every day I wake up for the life I get to live.
“Who would have ever thought that a kid from Donkin, N.S. would end up travelling the world, going to two Paralympics, winning a world championship, and going to school in U.S. on a scholarship? I am thankful every day I wake up for the life I get to live.” -Jamey Jewells
“My national team career is something I will cherish for as long as I live. This is an incredible honour that not everyone gets to experience. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Wheelchair Basketball Canada; the opportunities and life experiences it has given me are something I will forever be grateful for. Team Canada will always feel like home.”
Story and Photo from Wheelchair Basketball | www.wheelchairbasketball.ca