Rio Paralympic hopefuls join Petitclerc to inspire next generation
MONTREAL, April 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Rio 2016 Canadian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc beamed with pride in her hometown this morning as her national media tour visited the annual Défi sportif AlterGo event to promote Paralympic sport and local athletes training for Rio.
At the Centre Claude-Robillard, Petitclerc was joined by an accomplished group of Rio hopefuls including Paralympic swimming stars Benoit Huot and Aurélie Rivard, para-cyclist Nicole Clermont and wheelchair basketball Paralympian Cindy Ouellet, who then led a friendly game of her sport.
"I'm incredibly proud and encouraged to have this chance to connect with some of this region's Rio hopefuls who are training relentlessly in pursuit of their goals," said Petitclerc. "In addition to being champions on the field of play, they are also brilliant role models to many of the up-and-coming young athletes who are participating this week at the Défi sportif AlterGo. It's a fantastic synergy which can only help to grow Paralympic sport in Canada."
Clermont is training to make her Paralympic Games debut in cycling; Ouellet is a two-time Paralympian and 2014 world champion; Rivard is a silver medallist from the London 2012 Paralympic Games and a world record holder; and Huot is a four-time Paralympian with 19 Paralympic medals to his name.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will take place September 7 to 18, 2016. Canada expects to field a team of approximately 165 athletes competing in 18 sports. Selection is ongoing and will be finalized this summer.
''It's been a terrific motivator to have Chantal join us today, offering her support and encouragement on our road to Rio,'' said Huot. ''In these final months of training before Rio, I know I'll draw on the positive energy from our gathering here today.''
Petitclerc participated in the Défi Sportif AlterGo Opening Ceremony and presented a countdown clock to Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, Montreal's borough Mayor and member of the Executive Committee responsible for procurement, sports, leisure and communities of diverse origins.
The Défi Sportif AlterGo is an annual multi-sport event for athletes with a disability which has served as a springboard towards excellence, and for which Petitclerc has been an ambassador since 1998.
Petitclerc, a five-time Paralympian who won 21 medals at the Games in a brilliant wheelchair racing career, is crossing the country to promote Paralympic sport and athletes on the road to Rio. The eight-city tour got underway in December in Ottawa/Gatineau, followed by a stop in Calgary in January, Toronto in February and Halifax last week.
For more information about the Canadian Paralympic Committee: paralympic.ca
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SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
Image with caption: "Rio 2016 Canadian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc and Rio hopefuls Cindy Ouellet (wheelchair basketball,) Nicole Clermont (cycling), Aurélie Rivard and Benoit Huot (swimming) presented a countdown clock to Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, Montreal’s borough Mayor and member of the Executive Committee responsible for procurement, sports, leisure and communities of diverse origins. (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160426_C3241_PHOTO_EN_675408.jpg
For further information: Alison Korn, Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Phone: 613-569-4333 ext. 243 / Cell: 613-298-4927, firstname.lastname@example.org; Martin Richard, Executive Director, Communications and Marketing, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Phone: 613-569-4333 ext. 224 / Cell: 613-725-4339, email@example.com