OTTAWA, March 12, 2020 /CNW/ - Ten years ago today, Canada welcomed the world's best winter Para athletes, as the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games officially kicked off with the Opening Ceremony. A total of 502 athletes from 44 countries competed for places on the podium throughout 10 days of competition across Vancouver and Whistler.
The Canadian Paralympic Team was represented by 55 athletes and finished third in the medal standings, with 10 gold, five silver, and four bronze medals. At the time, it was Canada's best-ever performance at a Paralympic Winter Games (it was eclipsed at PyeongChang 2018, where Canada captured 28 medals) and it remains the nation's highest gold medal mark at a single Winter Games.
Vancouver 2010 was the first time Canada hosted a Paralympic Winter Games, and the first time it hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games together in the same city and same venues, with the same organizing committee (Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games).
"Vancouver 2010 was a phenomenal example and steward of inclusion and gave our incredible Paralympic athletes a chance to shine and share their stories with Canadians like never before," said Marc-André Fabien, president, Canadian Paralympic Committee. "The Paralympic Movement has progressed so much in the ensuing 10 years, and today Canada is a leader internationally not just on the field of play, but by helping to change perceptions and make the world more inclusive. We look forward to seeing that growth continue for many decades."
There were many unforgettable moments of triumph, joy, and determination in the face of obstacles and pressure that will live in Canadian Paralympic lore. The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games took place from March 12-21 and the Canadian Paralympic Committee's digital channels will be celebrating moments from the Games every day for the next 10 days.
Para nordic skier Colette Bourgonje, in her ninth Paralympic Games (summer and winter combined), was the first Canadian to win a medal at the Games: "Competing in the first Paralympic Winter Games in Canada's history was a dream come true. Being the first athlete to medal was a magical moment shared with family, teammates, friends, and a super supportive country. I'm so proud to be Canadian."
B.C. native Josh Dueck made his Paralympic debut and came away with a silver medal: "To witness and be a small part of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games was an incredible privilege and honour. This monumental occasion helped define who we are as Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, and brought us closer together."
Para alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft won five gold medals in Vancouver: "The Vancouver 2010 Games was an experience I will never forget. Having the opportunity to compete at a home Games was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I never thought I would come away with five gold medals. It was a privilege to compete for Canada in Vancouver and to be a part of Paralympic history, and I hope that I helped to inspire more people to push towards their own goals."
For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Louis Daignault, Senior Coordinator, Communications, Canadian Paralympic Committee, [email protected], 613-297-1455; Martin Richard, Executive Director, Communications & Brand, Canadian Paralympic Committee, [email protected], W (613) 569-4333 x224, F (613) 569-2777, C (613) 725-4339