With the Beijing 2022 Paralympics set to kick-off in the early hours of Friday, March 4, BC athletes are poised to propel Canada to a memorable Games. Canada’s Paralympic team, made up of 49 athletes competing in all five sports over the ten-day duration of the Games, will look to build on their performance four years ago in PyeongChang, where the team finished third in the medal standings with 28. Of the 49 Canadian athletes headed to Beijing, five gained their first multi-sport games experience through the BC Winter or BC Summer Games, or as members of Team BC at the Canada Games:
- Ethan Hess (Pemberton) will be competing in his second Paralympics, after gaining valuable experience while still a teenager at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang. Hess competed at both the Mission 2014 BC Winter and Nanaimo 2014 BC Summer Games, in cross-country skiing and canoe kayak. He also represented Team BC at two Canada Winter Games; he followed up a bronze medal from 2015 with three gold medals in 2019.
- Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver) headlines Canada’s women’s Para alpine skiing team heading to Beijing. She broke onto the scene at the PyeongChang Paralympics as an 18-year-old, winning a gold, a silver, and two bronze medals. Jepsen got her first taste of multi-sport games at the Greater Vernon 2012 BC Winter Games.
- Logan Leach (Lumby) is one of five Paralympic debutants on Canada’s Para alpine skiing team and the youngest member of Canada’s entire delegation in Beijing. He will look to draw from his experience at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, where he brought home a silver medal.
- Natalie Wilkie (Salmon Arm) will be looking to build on a phenomenal Games debut four years ago when she won a complete set of medals in cross-country skiing at only 17 years of age. Just two years before her breakout performance on the world stage, she competed at the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games.
- Emily Young (Prince George) will also make her second Paralympic appearance in Beijing. She took home silver and bronze in cross-country skiing from PyeongChang in 2018. Young represented Team BC at the Canada Games on two occasions; first as a wrestler at the 2009 Canada Summer Games, before transitioning to para sport for the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Four team staff members with previous BC Games or Team BC experience will be in Beijing to support Canada’s athletes:
- Josh Dueck (Kimberley), a Paralympic Hall of Famer, three-time Paralympic medalist, and highly regarded sport leader, will serve as Canada’s Chef de Mission. Dueck is the Executive Director of Freestyle BC in addition to his work as a peer mentor, motivational speaker, and ambassador, spreading his message of hope, sharing his story of overcoming adversity, and promoting active living. He competed in freestyle skiing at the Port Alberni 2004 BC Winter Games and in Para alpine skiing at the 2006 Games in Greater Trail.
- Todd Cuthbert (Pemberton) will support Canada’s Para alpine skiing squad as an equipment technician. Cuthbert took part in the Smithers 1994 and Vancouver 1996 BC Winter Games.
- Matthew Hallat (North Vancouver) competed at the Quesnel 2000 BC Winter Games and will serve as the team manager on the Canadian Para alpine skiing team at these Paralympics.
- Kattie Spittlehouse (Rossland) will bring from her experience as Team BC’s alpine skiing team manager at the 2019 Canada Winter Games to her role as a Para alpine skiing coach at the Beijing Games.
Together, they make up the nine BC Games and Team BC alumni who are part of Canada’s delegation at these Beijing 2022 Paralympics.
Click here to see the full list of Team BC alumni at the Beijing 2022 Olympics and Paralympics here.
Click here to see the full list of BC Games alumni at the Beijing 2022 Olympics and Paralympics.
Click here to see the full list of Team Canada athletes at the Beijing 2022 Paralympics here.