RICHMOND, B.C. — Canada's wheelchair rugby team will have valuable Paralympic experience to draw on when it competes in Rio de Janeiro this September.
Nine of the 12 athletes named to Canada's Paralympic team on Monday, including co-captains Patrice Dagenais and Trevor Hirschfield, were part of the squad that claimed the silver medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Canada will be looking to add a first Paralympic rugby gold to its recent list of titles. The Canadians are ranked world No. 1 in the world for the first time in 13 years after winning gold at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games and the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby
"Last year, we got our first taste of gold in over a decade. We'll be carrying that feeling into Rio," said head coach Kevin Orr. in a statement "We are working daily to prepare tactically, technically, psychologically and physically for a gold medal in Rio. We're ready to go."
Canada's last competition before Rio will take place on home soil at the 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament from June 23-26 in Richmond. Rivals Australia and the United States will be among the seven teams competing.
Wheelchair rugby will run Sept. 7-18 in Rio.
Miranda Biletskim, Regina; Cody Caldwell, Peterborough, Ont.; Ian Chan, Richmond; Patrice Dagenais, Embrun, Ont.; Byron Green, Courtenay, B.C.; Trevor Hirschfield, Parksville, B.C.; Fabien Lavoie, Quebec City; Zak Madell, Okotoks, Alta.; Travis Murao, Richmond; Patrice Simard, Quebec City; Mike Whitehead, Windsor, Ont; David Willsie, Dorchester, Ont.