Swimming Canada Announces Para-Swimming Team for Commonwealth Games

Aurélie Rivard -- Photo Courtesy: Ian MacNicol/Swimming Canada

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Swimming Canada is nominating 11 Para-swimmers to its 2018 Commonwealth Games team, which will be the largest integrated team in Canadian swimming history.

The group headed to Gold Coast, Australia, in April includes eight members of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games team. Quadruple world-record holder Aurélie Rivard, who won four medals in Rio and was named Canada’s flag bearer, headlines the team, which also includes Rio medalists Katarina Roxon and Tess Routliffe.

Morgan Bird and Rio gold medalists Rivard and Roxon all represented Canada at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. They will join world champion and world-record holder Kylie Masse, Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak and others to bring the Canadian contingent to 37 total athletes. The swimming competition takes place from April 4-9 at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.

“The 11 swimmers who will compete in the Para-swimming events in the pool bring a wealth of international experience to the team,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson. “I am delighted that we can announce these additions to our 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming team, making an integrated team of 37 swimmers from our Olympic and Paralympic programs.”

High Performance Centre – Quebec Head Coach Mike Thompson will also be joining the team. Thompson coaches five of the 11 athletes and will bring his Para-swimming expertise alongside Senior Coach Paralympic Program Vince Mikuska, who was named to the team in September. Rounding out the staff is Senior Manager, National Para-swimming Programs Emma Van Steen, who will serve as assistant team manager.

“We congratulate all of the Para-swimmers on their nomination and look forward to cheering them on in April at the Games,” said Team Canada Chef de Mission Claire Carver-Dias.

Swimming will be well represented at the Games. Paralympic legend Benoit Huot, whose events are not offered at the Games, is serving as Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada.

“I have followed the evolution of para-sports within the Commonwealth Games, and swimming of course, with great price. This inclusion offers our athletes a great opportunity for increased visibility. This team is a great mix of youth and veterans and I look forward to supporting these athletes on site as they strive to achieve their goals in Gold Coast,” Huot said.

The complete list of Para-swimming additions is below:

Women Club Coach Hometown Residence
Bird Morgan Cascade SC Wendy Johnson Calgary Calgary
Girard Sarah CN Neptune Jeremy Bruggeman Montreal Montreal
Mehain Sarah McGill Univ. Peter Carpenter Vernon, BC Montreal
Rivard Aurélie CHP-QUE Mike Thompson S-J-sur-Richelieu, QC Montreal
Routliffe Tess CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Caledon, ON Montreal
Roxon Katarina Aqua Aces SC Leonard Roxon Kippens, NL Kippens, NL
Ryan Samantha CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Saskatoon Saskatoon
Tripp Abi Y Penguins Vicki Keith Kingston, ON Kingston, ON
Men Club Coach Hometown Residence
Lavallière Jean-Michel CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Quebec City Montreal
Vachon Philippe Mégophias Charles Labrie Blainville, QC Trois-Rivières, QC
Zona Zach CHP-QUE Mike Thompson Waterford, ON Montreal

Press release courtesy of Swimming Canada.

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Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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