Local named to Canadian Paralympic team
Cycling Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced yesterday the 12 athletes – six men and six women – who have been nominated for selection to Team Canada for this September’s Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The group of 12 includes two medallists from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, five cyclists with Paralympic Games experience and four world champion cyclists, including Cranbrook resident Tristen Chernove.
“I am delighted with our para-cycling team selections for the Paralympic Games in Rio this summer,” said Jacques Landry, high performance director and head coach for Cycling Canada. “Our athletes were selected based on performances at international competitions and on their potential to perform in the Paralympic arena based on showings at selected races. Our team is comprised of athletes with Paralympic experience and also athletes we have recently identified who could surprise many.”
Daniel Chalifour of Ste-Thérèse, Que., notches a third career Games nomination while Marie-Ève Croteau of Quebec City, Shelley Gautier of Toronto, Ont., Marie-Claude Molnar of Lemoyne, Que., and Robbi Weldon of Thunder Bay, Ont., all competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Weldon won gold in the road race (with then pilot Lyne Besette) while Molnar won bronze in the time trial.
National team rookie and world champion Tristen Chernove of Cranbrook, has taken the para-cycling world by storm this year with double gold at the world track championships in March and two victories at the World Cup road event in Belgium in May.
The four world champions on the team are Chernove, Weldon, Gautier and Croteau.
Para-cycling is one of 22 summer sports on the Paralympic Games schedule and features events for athletes with disabilities including visual impairments, arm and leg amputations or cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are set for September 7-18, with the para-cycling track events September 8 to 11 and the road events September 14 to 17.
“Canada is fielding a large and accomplished team in para-cycling and we have a solid core of veterans to lead the way, along with talented newcomers,” said Canada’s Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc. ”The team’s training and experience should prove beneficial at the Paralympic Games.”
“On behalf of all Canadians, congratulations to our cycling athletes named today to wear the Maple Leaf this summer at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games,’’ said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. ‘’Cycling Canada has done a phenomenal job of preparing our athletes to compete and now it’s their time to shine in Rio. All of Canada is behind you.”
The athletes nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Team are as follows:
PARA-CYCLING TEAM MEN
Daniel Chalifour (Ste-Thérèse, Que.)
Tristen Chernove (Cranbrook, B.C.)
Jean-Michel Lachance (Quebec City): pilot for Daniel Chalifour
Charles Moreau (Victoriaville, Que.)
Michael Sametz (Calgary)
Ross Wilson (Edmonton)
Nicole Clermont (Laval, Que.)
Marie-Ève Croteau (Quebec City)
Shelley Gautier (Toronto)
Audrey Lemieux (Alma, Que.): pilot for Robbi Weldon
Marie-Claude Molnar (Lemoyne, Que.)
Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, Ont.)
The nominated athletes will be supported by Head Coach Sébastien Travers (Bromont, Que.) and coaches Eric Van den Eynde (Longueuil, Que.) and Cam Jennings (Edmonton, Alta.).
Cycling Canada and Canadian Paralympic Committee