Opening Ceremony celebrates beginning of Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Nov. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Let the Games begin!

An excited Team Canada entered the stadium this evening to celebrate the official opening of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games in Mexico.

Resplendent in red and white, led by flag bearer Dave Durepos (Fredericton, NB) of the powerhouse men's wheelchair basketball squad, members of Team Canada wheeled and walked in to Telmex Athletics Stadium behind teams from Argentina, Bermuda and Brazil.

"The Opening Ceremony is a very special moment," said David Legg, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "Every athlete, coach and team member experiences an intense feeling of pride as a sea of red and white flags are waved by the spectators and loud cheers erupt as they enter the stadium. This is the start of the 2011 Parapan American Games, and I know our athletes will proudly represent Canada and rise to the challenge of giving everything they can to reach the podium."

The Canadian team includes 121 athletes and 11 guides, pilots and sports assistants, competing in 11 sports. The Parapan Am Games run Nov. 12 to 20.Competition starts Sunday morning, Nov. 13.

Canadians in action Sunday include (all times local - Central Time):

  • Men's wheelchair basketball team plays Colombia at 3:45 p.m.
  • Women's wheelchair basketball team plays Brazil at 11:15 a.m.
  • Men's goalball team plays the U.S. at 1:00 p.m.
  • Women's goalball team plays Brazil at 2:30 p.m.
  • Swimming straight finals starting at 4:00 p.m.: Christian Daniel (Cochrane AB) Men's S6 400 Free; Zack McAllister (Lethbridge AB) Men's S9 100 Fly; Kennedy Pasay (Leduc AB) Women's S9 100 fly; Chris Sargeant-Tsonos (Kingston ON) S8 Men 100 Back; Megan Michie (Metcalfe, ON) Women's S14 100 Breast; Jean-Sebastien Lapointe (Repentigny QC) Men S7 400 Free; Danielle Kisser (Delta BC) Women's S6 400 Free; Nik Tolgyesi (Kingston ON) Men's S6 400 Free; Adam Rahier (Nanaimo BC) Men's S14 100 Breast; Kirstie Kasko (Okotoks AB) Women's S14 100 Breast; Maxime Rousselle (St-Alexandre QC) Men's S14 100 Breast; Dalton Boon (Delta BC) Men's S14 100 Breast; Jana Murphy (Victoria BC) Women's S14 100 Breast.
  • Boccia: Starting at 10:00, BC1 Brock Richardson (Brampton ON) and Keven Smith-Worthylake (Ottawa ON) play against each other. Competing at 11:00 are BC2 Dave Richer (Ste-Julie QC) and Adam Dukovich (London ON) against opponents to be determined. At 12:00 BC3 Paul Gauthier (Vancouver BC) and Martin Dubois (Gatineau QC) play against opponents to be determined. 1:30 BC4 Marco Dispaltro (Ste-Jerome QC) plays against Caroline Vietnieks (Vancouver BC). Josh van der Vies (Sarnia ON) plays against an opponent to be determined.
  • Cycling: Competing in the time trial: Daniel Chalifour (Lac-des-écorces, QC) -visually impaired; Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) - visually impaired; Eric Bourgault (Orford, QC) - C4; Mathieu Parent (Granby QC) - C2; Jaye Milley (Calgary AB) - C1; Marie-Claude Molnar (Ste-Adèle QC) - C4; Rico Morneau (Ste-Martine, QC) - H3; Myriam Adam (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC) - H2; Louis-Albert Corriveau-Jolin (Ste-Claire QC) - T2; Marie-Eve Croteau (Québec QC) - T2; Shelley Gautier (Toronto ON) - T1.
  • Table tennis, men's singles: 10:00 - Martin Pelletier (Gatineau QC); 10:40 a.m. - Barry Butler (Ottawa ON); 11:20 - Masoud Mojtahed (Austin TX); 12:00 - Ian Kent (Welling AB). Women's singles: 10:40 a.m. - Stephanie Chan (Richmond BC).
  • Wheelchair tennis singles - Joel Dembe (Toronto, ON) plays Ecuador at 5:00 p.m. and Philippe Bedard (Bromont, QC) plays Chile at 12:00 p.m.

"I am very excited that opening day has finally come for all of our athletes in Guadalajara," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "As Canada's athletes participate in the Opening Ceremony, Canadians everywhere will once again be reminded that we are truly a sporting nation. We are proud of all of our athletes, and I wish them all the best."

For more information about Team Canada in Guadalajara, please visit www.paralympic.ca/guadalajara2011

Note to Editors: Broadcast-standard video, still images and mp3 files are available for media download via SendtoNews: www.sendtonews.com.

Image with caption: "An excited Team Canada entered the stadium this evening to celebrate the official opening of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games in Mexico. (CNW Group/CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111112_C5252_PHOTO_EN_6608.jpg

SOURCE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)

For further information:

Mark Dottori
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 602 9302
mdottori@paralympic.ca

Alison Korn
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 600 9399
akorn@paralympic.ca

Web: Paralympic.ca
Facebook: Facebook.com/CDNParalympics
Twitter: @CDNParalympics
YouTube: YouTube.com/CDNParalympics

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CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)

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