OTTAWA – Seven athletes will be the first to represent Canada in Para badminton at a major Games, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Badminton Canada announced today, as the sport makes its debut at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games this summer.
This will be the first time in history that Para badminton will be played at the Parapan Am Games, and Canada is sending the best athletes to gain valuable experience. In addition, the Parapan Am Games is also one of the qualifiers for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo where the sport will have its Paralympic debut.
Team Canada brings with it a multitude of talented and decorated athletes. Leading the team is Richard Peter, who is not only the 2017 and 2018 Para badminton national champion but is also a five-time Paralympic wheelchair basketball player, winning three gold medals and a silver in his career. After his retirement at the age of 40, Peter decided he was not done with sport and began playing badminton.
“I am fortunate to have competed in so many Parapan Am and Paralympic Games throughout my career,” said Peter. “Hopefully my experience at the Games can be beneficial to me and my fellow teammates as we look to lead the Pan Am region this summer.”
Joining Peter on the team is Yuka Chokyu, who previously represented Canada at three Paralympic Games in wheelchair tennis. Since her transition to Para badminton, Chokyu has become a two-time national champion, and represented Canada at the Parapan Am Championships this past winter.
The other five members of the squad will be competing in their first multi-sport Games, including two teenagers – William Roussy, 15, and Wyatt Lightfoot, 16. Rounding out the lineup are Bernard Lapointe, Pascal Lapointe, and Olivia Meier.
“A very warm welcome to our incredible Para badminton players!” said Stephanie Dixon, chef de mission of the Canadian Parapan Am Team. “I am so excited for Para badminton to join the program at the Parapan Ams, and I know these athletes will have a good showing for Canada. It’s also so wonderful to see athletes like Richard Peter and Yuka Chokyu joining Team Canada again in a new sport. There is nothing like representing Canada on such a big international stage!”
“It is wonderful to see the continued growth of Para badminton in so many ways in our country,” said Jordan Bridal, Badminton Canada’s High-Performance Director. “We are extremely proud of our Canadian Para badminton athletes; they have represented us so well this year and I know will continue to do so at the Parapan Am Games.”
Badminton play at the Games will commence August 29 and run through September 1, 2019.
LIMA 2019 PARAPAN AM GAMES PARA BADMINTON TEAM
|Yuka Chokyu||Vancouver, BC||52||WH2 singles|
|Bernard Lapointe||St-Léonard, N.B||34||WH1/WH2 doubles|
|Pascal Lapointe||Montreal, QC||42||SL4 singles + SL3/SU5 mixed doubles|
|Wyatt Lightfoot||Wilcox, SK||16||SS6 singles|
|Olivia Meier||Winnipeg, MB||20||SU5 singles + SL3/SU5 mixed doubles|
|Richard Peter||Duncan, BC||46||WH1/WH2 doubles|
|William Roussy||Maria, QC||15||SL3 singles|
The Lima 2019 Parapan American Games will take place August 23 to September 1 in Peru and will surpass Toronto 2015 as the largest Parapan Am Games ever with a record 1,850 athletes set to participate. Canada is expecting to send a team of approximately 152 athletes and competition partners in 13 sports. The Canadian Paralympic Committee will announce the official full team heading to the Games later this summer.
Story and Photo: Canadian Paralympic Committee