Canada's 2016 Paralympic Swim Team is ready for Rio

Rivard and Huot lead strong Canadian swim team into Paralympics

Announcement featured 22 athletes for Brazil

TORONTO — Aurélie Rivard and Benoit Huot will lead a team of 22 para-swimmers into the 2016 Rio Paralympics, this September in Brazil.

The selected 22 swimmers were named poolside at the dramatic conclusion of Day 6 during the 2016 Olympic & Para-swimming Trials, held over six days in April at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

Rivard is a world champion and world record holder, while Huot is a 19-time Paralympic medalist who will be competing in his fifth Games. He was the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies at London 2012.

In less than 150 days, more than 4,000 athletes from 176 countries will descend upon Rio de Janeiro for the first Paralympic games to be held in South America, starting Sept. 7.

2016 Canadian Paralympic Swim Trials Final - Men's 100M Backstroke
2016 Canadian Paralympic Swim Trials Final – Men’s 100M Backstroke (Phil Jones, Toronto Observer)

The following athletes will be representing Canada at the 2016 Paralympic Games:

Benoît Huot (Montreal)

Issac Bouckley (Oshawa, Ont.)

Danielle Dorris (Moncton, Ont.)

Gordie Michie (St. Thomas, Ont.)

James Leroux (Repentigny, Que.)

Sarah Mehain (Vernon, B.C.)

Nydia Langil (Mississauga, Ont.)

Devin Gotell (Antigonish, N.S.)

Tess Routliffe (Caledon, Ont.)

Sabrina Duchesne (Quebec City)

Samantha Ryan (Saskatoon)

Morgan Bird (Regina)

Abi Tripp (Kingston, Ont.)

Nathan Clement (West Vancouver)

Nicholoas Turbide (Quebec City)

Jonathan Dieleman (Quick, B.C.)

Katarina Roxon (Kippins, NL)

Tyler Mrak (Aldergrove, B.C.)

Nathan Stein (Maple Ridge, B.C.)

Tammy Cunnington (Red Deer, Alta.)

Alaxander Elliot (Kitchener, Ont.)

Aurélie Rivard (St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que.)

Craig McCord will be the team’s head coach for his fourth Paralympics.

Canadian Paralympic star Aurélie Rivard is interviewed by Scott Russell of the CBC
Canadian Paralympic star Aurélie Rivard is interviewed by Scott Russell of the CBC (Phil Jones, Toronto Observer)

Over half of the medals that Canada won at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, England came from the pool. Canadian swimmers took home four gold, nine silver, and three bronze, winning 16 total medals. The Canadians finished eighth out of 31 nations that received an aquatic medal in London.

Among the many performance highlights of London 2012 were swimmer Summer Mortimer with four medals (two gold in world record time, one silver and one bronze); swimmer Huot with three medals (a gold in world record time, a silver and a bronze); and swimmer Valérie Grand’Maison, who raced to one gold (and a world record) and two silver medals.

Team Canada competed in 15 sports at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, coming home with 31 medals in total: seven gold, 15 silver and nine bronze. Canada placed 20th in the gold medal count and 13th in the overall medal count.

The team that will compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be officially announced at a July 14 event in Ottawa.

The 2016 Paralympic Games will run from the 7th to the 18th of September for 11 days, taking place in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

@Phil_Jones2020