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GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Nov. 20, 2011 /CNW/ - The two top-performing
Canadian athletes at the Guadalajara Parapan American Games - cyclists
Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) and Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC) have
been named Canada's flag bearers for the closing ceremony tonight.
The dominant duo won gold in all four races for women's tandem cycling
at these Games, with Bessette acting as pilot for Weldon, who has a
Both athletes have exceptional athletic resumes, with Weldon having
competed in cross country skiing at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic
Winter Games and Bessette a two-time Olympian in cycling. The
announcement was made in the Paralympic Village today by Canadian team
Chef de Mission, Rob Needham.
"I'm very honoured," said Weldon. "It's been a very successful week for
all Canadian athletes and it will be a great celebration at the closing
"I've raced cycling for many years and so far these have been the
greatest Games I've participated in," said Bessette. "To top it off
with being flag bearer is an awesome thing. Robbi and I are really
Selection criteria for the closing ceremony flag bearer require the
athlete(s) to have achieved an outstanding competitive performance in
the current Parapan American Games, to have maintained an exemplary
standard of behavior, to have exhibited a commitment to fair play and
to have earned the respect of their peers.
The Canadian team has enjoyed great success at the 2011 Parapan American
Games in Guadalajara, winning 63 medals, including 13 gold, 22 silver
and 28 bronze.
Standout performances for the Canadian team included swimmers Adam
Rahier (Nanaimo, BC) with one gold and two silver; Kirstie Kasko
(Okotoks AB) with two gold; cyclists Daniel Chalifour (Lac-des-Écorces,
QC) and pilot Ed Veal (Queensville, ON), with one gold, one silver and
two bronze; a gold for boccia athlete Paul Gauthier (Vancouver, BC); a
gold and a silver for table tennis player Ian Kent (Eastern Passage,
NS); and the archery team winning both gold (Kevin Evans, Jaffray, BC)
and silver (Robert Hudson, Leoville, QC).
A complete list of Canadian medallists is here: http://paralympic.ca/en/Games/Guadalajara-2011/2011-Medalists.html
"These Games were both a development opportunity for younger athletes,
as well as a qualifier for the London 2012 Paralympic Summer Games in
certain sports," noted David Legg, president of the Canadian Paralympic
Committee. "Canadian athletes gained valuable experience en route to
future Games including the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the
Rio 2016 Paralympic Summer Games. I would also like to congratulate the
men's and women's wheelchair basketball teams for their medal-winning
performances here, which qualified them for the London 2012 Paralympic
On stage to receive the official flag handover at the closing ceremony
tonight will be the the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
and the Honourable David C. Onley, Ontario's Lieutenant Governor.
"I will be standing proud with all Canadians this evening at the Closing
Ceremony of the 2011 Parapan American Games," said the Honourable Bal
Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "The handover of the Parapan American
flag to Canada as the next host of the Games in 2015 in Toronto will be
both a reminder of these amazing games and an opportunity for us to
invite the Americas and the world to come to Canada for the V Parapan
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is now looking forward with great
anticipation to the next edition of the Parapan American Games, to be
held in Toronto Aug. 7 to 14, 2015. Representatives of TO2015 have been
onsite in Guadalajara, observing the 2011 Games here in order to take
home best practices to ensure an exceptional Parapan event in Toronto
"Ontario is proud to be the host region of the next Pan and Parapan Am
Games," said the Honourable David C. Onley, Ontario's Lieutenant
Governor. "I know Ontario looks forward to welcoming athletes,
officials and visitors from the Americas Paralympic committees to
Toronto in 2015 and showcasing our province on an international stage."
"The Pan/Parapan Am Games are infused with sport and culture," said Ian
Troop, CEO of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing
Committee. "We look forward to welcoming athletes and spectators from
the Americas to Toronto in 2015 to compete and help us celebrate these
Note to Editors: Broadcast-standard video and mp3 files are available
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Photos are available in the Image Bank at Paralympic.ca. Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Canadian Paralympic Committee.
For more information about Team Canada in Guadalajara, please visit www.paralympic.ca/guadalajara2011.
SOURCE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)
For further information:
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 602 9302
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 600 9399