Record holder in the 200m and 400m wheelchair races Dean Bergeron is ready for Beijing, his last Paralympic Games



    LEVIS, QC, Aug. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - World record holder in the wheelchair
400m and 200m, Dean Bergeron will be representing Canada for the last time at
the Beijing Paralympic Games, which will be held from September 6 to 17, 2008.
    Before heading to Beijing, he will be training in Switzerland between
August 25 and September 2. "These are my last Games so I want to go out on
top," says Bergeron, who will be taking part in four events: the 100m, 200m,
400m and 800m.

    Ready to give it his all

    "I'm totally ready for the Beijing games. I'm much better prepared than I
was in 2004. It's the little things that make all the difference," says
Bergeron, who is backed by a solid team that includes a nutritionist and a
sports psychologist.
    His main objective is to do his very best. "I want to race the way I've
been racing in all my competitions this year. I want to race for myself. I'll
be happy whether I finish first, second or third," says the athlete, who feels
very confident on the heels of his success in recent months in Canada, the
United States and Europe. In 2007, he beat his own world record in the 400m
and set a new one in the 200m. In terms of performance, this competition has
to be one of his most memorable. This past July 6, Dean finished first in the
100m, 200m and 400m, and second in the 800m at the "Meet in the Heat"
wheelchair racing competition in Atlanta.

    Eight medals at the Paralympic Games

    Originally from Saguenay (La Baie) and now a resident of Québec City,
Dean Bergeron has been accumulating some impressive credits since his athletic
career began. In addition to participating in several world and Canadian
championships, he also has eight medals from the Paralympic Games. He
collected his biggest haul of medals at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996, when
he won gold in the 200m; silver in the 400m, 800m and 1500m; and bronze in the
100m. At the 2000 Sydney games, he won a bronze medal in the 200m and 400m. In
2004, at the Athens Paralympics, he brought home a bronze medal in the 800m.

    Support from Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security, Dean's employer and sponsor, has been
supporting his efforts since 1995. Dean joined the company as an actuary in
1994. "Dean has done an incredible job of balancing his careers as an athlete
and a financial services professional. With courage and determination, he has
overcome obstacles as an actuary and an athlete, and emerged as one of the
best. Dean is a great example of courage, perseverance and determination for
his colleagues and the population in general," says Richard Fortier, President
and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Financial Security.
    Internet site www.deanbergeron.ca is dedicated to Dean Bergeron. His
Beijing Paralympic Games schedules are shown and his performances will be
released as soon as they are known. E-mails to Dean can be sent from that
site.

    About Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the
largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in
providing life insurance, health insurance and retirement savings products and
services to individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians
rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security.
Desjardins Financial Security employs over 3,900 people and administers over
$22 billion in assets from offices in several cities across the country,
including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec,
Lévis, Halifax and St. John's. For more information, visit our website at
www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com

    A photo of Dean Bergeron is available at www.deanbergeron.ca / Newsroom




For further information:

For further information: Christiane Côté, Communications Consultant,
(418) 838-7800, poste 7797, Toll free: 1 877 828-7800, poste 7797,
christiane.cote@dsf.ca; Virtual newsroom
http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press

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