Both men set to represent Canada at the London Paralympic Games in
TORONTO, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Tennis Canada announced Thursday that two
of the nation's top wheelchair tennis players have been nominated to
the Canadian Paralympic Team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Joel
Dembe (Toronto) and Philippe Bedard (Montreal) will represent Canada in
the men's tournament.
Currently ranked world No. 41, Dembe earned a direct spot into the
Paralympic event while Bedard was the beneficiary of a Bipartite
Commission Invitation place awarded by the ITF Wheelchair Tennis
Committee and International Paralympic Committee. The 2012 Games will
mark both Dembe and Bedard's first Paralympic appearance.
"It took a lot of hard work, but now that I've qualified I feel great,"
said reigning Canadian national champion Dembe. "It's an honour
representing Canada, and I plan on practicing hard throughout the
summer to improve and peak heading into London. I'm really excited for
the Paralympics. It's the pinnacle for me in wheelchair tennis."
Both Dembe and Bedard have plenty of other experience representing
Canada on the international stage though, as they participated in the
2011 Guadalajara Parapan American Games last November and also were
members of Canada's seventh-place BNP Paribas World Team Cup squad this
"When I started wheelchair tennis three years ago, my main goal and
dream was to make it to the Paralympics," Bedard said. "Now that I have
done it, all I can say is it's the best feeling ever."
The Paralympic men's singles draw will feature 64 players, while the
pairings in the doubles draw will be confirmed in July, with Dembe and
Bedard expected to be one of those teams. All of the doubles duos will
be selected from the pool of players already competing in the singles
"Both Joel and Philippe are rising stars who have great futures ahead of
them in wheelchair tennis," said Team Canada Chef de mission, Gaétan
Tardif. "It's wonderful to see their hard work and dedication pay off
to earn them their first berths at the Paralympic Games and I'm really
looking forward to cheering them on in London and beyond."
The wheelchair tennis event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games will
take place September 1-8 at Eton Manor.
About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association
responsible for leading the growth, promotion and showcasing of tennis
in Canada. Tennis Canada owns and operates two of the premier events on
the ATP and WTA Tours; Rogers Cup presented by National Bank men's and
women's events that rotate annually between Rexall Centre in Toronto
and Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. In addition, Tennis Canada owns and
operates seven professional ITF sanctioned events and financially
supports nine other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada
operates junior national training centres/programs at the Centre of
Excellence in Toronto, Uniprix Stadium in Montreal and the North Shore
Winter Club in Vancouver. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the
International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the
Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis
Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for
Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all
wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its
surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada
please visit our Web site at: www.tenniscanada.com.
SOURCE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)
For further information:
Media Contacts (Toronto):
Sarah Grossman, Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Nicole Watts, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
416-665-9777 ext. 4092, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contacts (Montreal):
Louis-Philippe Dorais, Director, Communications and Marketing
514-273-1515 ext.232, email@example.com
Valerie Tetreault, Coordinator, Communications
514-273-1515 ext.259, firstname.lastname@example.org