Athletes in para-alpine skiing, para-Nordic skiing and wheelchair curling took centre stage today as stars of the Sochi 2014 Canadian Paralympic Team and the broader Canadian Paralympic movement were feted at the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards ceremony.
The Paralympic Sport Awards celebrate top athletes, recognizing their achievements from the most recent Paralympic Games, in addition to honouring and recognizing the contribution of coaches.
“There were so many outstanding performances in Sochi and plenty of deserving athletes and coaches for these awards,” said Gaetan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “I’d like to congratulate today’s recipients as well as the entire Canadian Paralympic Team for an outstanding performance in Sochi.”
The Canadian Paralympic Team placed third in the gold medal count in Sochi with 16 medals - seven gold, two silver and seven bronze.
“The commitment, dedication and spirit shown by our athletes in Sochi are an inspiration to all Canadians,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “We are proud to support the Canadian Paralympic Team and celebrate its remarkable achievements.”
The 2014 Sport Award recipients are:
Best Games Debut: Para-alpine skiers Mac Marcoux (Sault-Ste-Marie, Ont.) and guide Robin Femy (Mont-Tremblant, Que.) blazed to a brilliant debut in Sochi, winning one gold and two bronze medals in visually-impaired para-alpine skiing; Marcoux was just 16 years old.
Best Team Performance: The Canadian Wheelchair Curling Team won its third straight Paralympic Games gold medal with their win in Sochi, setting records along the way for most points and largest margin of victory.
Best Male Athlete: Brian McKeever (Canmore, Alta.) and guides Erik Carleton (Canmore, Alta.) and Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse, Yukon) combined to win three gold medals in visually-impaired para-Nordic skiing in Sochi; McKeever was Canada’s most decorated athlete at these Games.
Best Female Athlete: Two-time Paralympian wheelchair curler Ina Forrest (Armstrong, B.C.) used her trademark accuracy and mental focus in her position as Third to help Canada win the wheelchair curling gold medal in Sochi. Forrest also won wheelchair curling Paralympic gold in Vancouver 2010.
Para-Development Coach: Teacher Mari Ellery (Toronto, Ont.) has been coaching parasport for over 30 years; her work at the development level in para-canoe has translated in to national and international success for several of her athletes.
Tim Frick Paralympic Coach Excellence: Head coach of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team, Jean Sebastien Labrie (Plessisville, Que.) built a strong culture of performance on the team and guided his squad to eight medals in Sochi, representing half of Canada’s total medal haul at the Games.
Biographies and photos of Sport Awards recipients are available here: http://paralympic.ca/2014-sport-awards-recipients
Videos of each recipient can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/CDNParalympics
Story from the Canadian Paralympic Committee Website | Paralympic.ca