N.B. man to carry flag at Parapan American Games
A Fredericton man has been named Team Canada's flagbearer at the opening ceremonies of the upcoming Parapan American Games in Mexico.
Wheelchair basketball player David Durepos will carry the flag when the Games begin Saturday in Guadalajara.
Durepos has been on the national team since 1994 and is considered one of the world's best outside shooters in wheelchair basketball.
He has won two Paralympic gold medals and a silver, along with a silver medal from the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio, Brazil
"I'm clearly very honoured," Durepos stated in a news release following the announcement, which was made at the Canadian team's pep rally and flag raising ceremony in Guadalajara on Wednesday.
"I've been at this a long time and any time you get to represent your country, it means a lot," he said.
Selection criteria for the opening ceremony flag bearer require that the athlete exhibit a commitment to fair play, be respected as a role model by other athletes, maintain an exemplary standard of behaviour and have made a contribution to paralympic sport and the sporting community.
"David exemplifies both the excellence in athletic achievement and the leadership values that all Canadian Team flag bearers share," said Rob Needham, Chef de Mission. "We know that Team Canada members will be proud to enter the stadium behind David."
During the team's pep rally, Durepos offered some advice to other members of the team, many of who are younger and competing in their first multi-sport Games.
"Focus on the little things, don't focus on the medal, and things will fall in to place," he said. "Narrow the focus. It's a big privilege to be here."
The Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games continue until Nov. 20.
Canada has sent 122 athletes and 11 guides/pilots/sports assistants to compete in 11 sports.
The Paralympic Games will be held in London two weeks after the Olympic Games finish next year.