Canada Begins 2011 Parapan American Games with a Golden Start

Cycling Team wins Four Medals on Day One of the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Nov. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Canada has won its first medal of these Games and it is gold!

On a warm sunny morning, racing through the historic downtown area of Guadalajara, reigning world cycling champions Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) and pilot Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC) won the 21.1 km mixed time trial road race (Blind Tandem) to win Canada's first medal of the Games.

"It was a really tough race today that required maximum effort," said Robbi Weldon. "Lyne and I worked really hard as a team and put in a strong effort. I hope our gold medal pumps up the rest of team Canada and is the start of many more to come."

The men's tandem of Daniel Chalifour (Lac-des-écorces, QC) and pilot Ed Veal (Queensville, ON) finished ranked third to win a bronze medal.

Later this morning, also in the cycling time trial, Rico Morneau (Ste-Martine QC) won the bronze in the H3 division and Shelley Gautier (Toronto, ON) won silver in the T1 division.

"I felt really good in training coming into the race," said Morneau. "The road was a little bumpy and I had to be careful on the corners and lost some time but I still got the bronze medal, so I am happy. The people here in Mexico have been great."

Canada won a total of four cycling medals this morning. Cycling competition is now finished for today. Complete Canadian results from all sports will be available later today.

"Congratulations to Robbi Weldon and Lyne Bessette on winning Canada's first gold medal at the Parapan Am Games in Guadalajara," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "You have demonstrated the kind of determination and good sportsmanship that inspire us all. On behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate you on this tremendous accomplishment."

Note to Editors: Broadcast-standard video, still images and mp3 files are presently being uploaded and will be available for media via SendtoNews:  http://www.sendtonews.com?SK=KBJfl8nmup

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: "Pilot Lyne Bessette (left) and Robbi Weldon (right) win Canada's first medal and Canada's first gold at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, racing in the blind tandem division. (CNW Group/CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111113_C5289_PHOTO_EN_6610.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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