The Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of para-sport excellence: the goal that elite athletes with a disability work towards everyday. What started as a rehabilitation exercise for wounded WWII veterans in 1948 has grown into an elite, multi-sport competition that welcomes athletes from over 160 countries. The Paralympic Games are held two weeks after the Olympic Games in the same venues. Like the Olympics, they are held every 2 years alternating between the Summer Games and the Winter Games. The next Games will be in Rio in 2016.
BC Wheelchair Sports has helped send numerous athletes to the Paralympic Games since our inception. We’ve watched Eugene Reimer dominate discus and the pentathalon in the 1970s and Peter Colistro win two Paralympic medals in wheelchair athletics. He’d go on as a wheelchair basketball player for the Vancouver Cablecars, one of the most dominant provincial clubs ever, and would re-emerge on the national stage in 1986 to win a silver medal at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships. We stood behind Rick Hansen as he won three gold, two silver, and one bronze medal as a wheelchair racer at both the 1980 and 1984 Summer Paralympics and we supported his mentor Tim Frick as he coached the women’s wheelchair basketball team to three consecutive gold Paralympic medals and four consecutive World Championship titles from 1992 through 2006. We’ve helped Michelle Stilwell garner one gold medal as a member of the 2000 Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team, and three more as a wheelchair racer. In 2013, we were proud to announce that Duncan Campbell, a longtime BCWSA member, was awarded the International Paralympic Order for his longstanding work inventing and developing the sport of wheelchair rugby. Currently, we're working towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and are supporting BC's up-and-coming athletes as they strive to achieve their dreams.