Paralympic athletes and Sochi hopefuls celebrate Canada Day with national appearances - And ongoing training

OTTAWA, July 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Four Ottawa-area athletes, all training in hopes of being selected to compete at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, took part in the live Canada Day Noon Show today on Parliament Hill, attended by thousands and watched by millions.

"It was such a thrill today to be part of the Noon Show and to have the chance to showcase my sport of sledge hockey to so many Canadians," said Paralympic gold medallist and world champion Marc Dorion of Bourget, Ont. "Hearing the roar of the crowd when I was on stage was a great reminder of all the support my teammates and I are receiving on the road to the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia."

Sochi 2014 Paralympic athlete hopefuls appearing in the Canada Day Noon Show, along with Dorion, included para-Nordic skier Margarita Gorbounova (Ottawa, Ont.), para-snowboarder John Leslie (Arnprior, Ont.) and sledge hockey player Ben Delaney (Ottawa, Ont.).

"Being originally from Russia, I am thrilled to have the chance to compete in Sochi and to represent Canada, the county that I am proud to call home," said Gorbounova. "Canada Day is also my birthday, which makes this opportunity to be part of the Noon Show on Parliament Hill doubly exciting for me."

With the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games just eight months away, the Canadian Paralympic Committee is looking forward with great anticipation to Team Canada competing in Sochi. There is also excitement in the summer sport community over Canada hosting two world championships next month:

  • The 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Quebec, will take place from Aug. 12 to 18 and will attract 650 swimmers from 60 countries.

"The London 2012 Paralympic Games were such a highlight for me and now I look forward to welcoming many of the same international Paralympic swimmers to my hometown of Montreal," said swimmer Benoit Huot, who won gold, silver and bronze medals in London and was named Team Canada's flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony. "Competing on home soil is a rare and precious opportunity for any athlete, and I know all members of Canada's swim team intend to make the most of it."

  • The 2013 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships will take place in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1.

"Having changed pilots since the London 2012 Paralympic Games [with the retirement of Lyne Bessette], it's been really exciting to have had success this season with Émilie Roy as my new pilot," said Paralympic gold medallist cyclist Robbi Weldon. "We are now fine-tuning our preparations to race in Baie-Comeau and can't wait to perform in front of a home crowd and many of our friends and family."

Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, reflected on the efforts and contributions of athletes and all their supporters to Canada's Paralympic movement.

"Today on Canada Day, the Canadian Paralympic Committee cheers and acknowledges all Team Canada athletes, past and present, and thanks all coaches, sport and corporate partners, friends and family who are part of an athlete's journey towards excellence," said Tardif. "Whether it's appearing in the Canada Day Noon Show, preparing for upcoming world championships or training for Sochi, our Canadian Paralympic athletes are hard at work representing our country with pride and determination. We are proud of how they serve as inspiration and as ambassadors for all Canadians to be active and get involved."

Sport not only builds great athletes, it builds great people. Friendship, confidence, and opportunity are three of the top benefits both parents and children cite as reasons to get involved in sport. To find out more about getting involved in parasport, please visit www.paralympic.ca/getinvolved

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 46 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca

SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

Image with caption: ""Hearing the roar of the crowd when I was on stage was a great reminder of all the support my sledge hockey teammates and I are receiving on the road to the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia," said Paralympic gold medallist and world champion Marc Dorion of Bourget, Ont. (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130701_C4629_PHOTO_EN_28664.jpg

Image with caption: "Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls with singer Carly Rae Jepsen in Ottawa for Canada Day (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130701_C4629_PHOTO_EN_28665.jpg

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