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Record Performance as Para-cycling is Top Sport for Canada at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with 9 Medals

by John Symon

September 20, 2016 – Canada finished the Paralympics with a record 29 medals and cycling was the top sport with nine medals, also recording its best performance at these Games. In the total medal count among nations Canada ranked 14th surpassing the team’s goal of a top-16 finish.

Tristen Chernove with his 3 medals  ©

The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) had high praise the para-cycling team that contributed 31 percent of the Canada’s total medal count led by Tristen Chernove who emerged as a new star with three medals in the Men’s C1 category – gold, silver and bronze. Ross Wilson brought home two silver medals in the Men’s C1; Charles Moreau won two bronze in the Men’s H2; Michael Sametz earned a bronze in the Men’s C3 and Shelley Gautier won a bronze medal in the Women’s T1-T2 combined.

Ross Wilson  ©  Jean-Baptiste Benavent/Canadian Paralympic Committee

We reached Canadian Para-cycling Head coach, Sébastien Travers, who was notably pleased with the squad’s performance and shared his thoughts as to why and how the team did so well.

“We have reached this success mostly because we have increased the daily training environment with our targeted athletes during the last quad; this also includes all the integrated support team, which was not used fully in London 2012. Our team has also reached a level of maturity, both physically and in the way that they prepare for events; they are resilient.

Charles Moreau  ©  Jean-Baptiste Benavent/Canadian Paralympic Committee

“Although we had great success during these Games, we still have to focus on world class basics and build upon that for the coming four years. My best moment was to see our athletes reach their full potential, independent of the results. The level of performance, dedication and passion that our athletes are carrying is truly inspiring,” said Travers.

Jacques Landry, Director of High Performance for Cycling Canada, summarized Canada’s results at the end of the most successful Paralympic Games ever for cycling:

“It has been a really good Games, obviously,” said Landry on the closing day. “We finished off with nine medals, and we could have potentially had another one with Tristen Chernove in the road race, and we came close with Robbi Weldon in the road race today. All in all, we started off with a goal of three medals when we started the quad after London [2012] and we tripled that goal. Midway through the quad we upped our goals, but we never thought that nine medals would have been possible.”

Michael Sametz  ©  Jean-Baptiste Benavent/Canadian Paralympic Committee

“On behalf of Team Canada, I’d like to thank Brazil and Rio 2016 for hosting such fantastic Games,” said Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc, herself a former para-cyclist, competing at the World Cup level in 2011. “The stands were full, volunteers were friendly and we felt welcome and supported at all times.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) sponsors the CPC. To celebrate our Paralympians, CIBC and the CPC are pleased to invite Canadians to CIBC Welcome Home festivities in seven communities across Canada on September 22 (Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Calgary) and September 23 (Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal).

Shelley Gautier  ©  Jean-Baptiste Benavent/Canadian Paralympic Committee

When the fifteenth Summer Paralympic Games ended in Rio de Janeiro on September 18, China led the medal count with 107, followed by Great Britain with 64 and the Ukraine with 41. Canada, as mentioned, was 14th with 29 medals. The next Paralympics are scheduled for Tokyo from August 25-Sept. 6, 2020.

Full medal count here.

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