(Red Deer, Alberta) Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Quebec emerged victorious on the opening day of wheelchair basketball competition at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta.
Host and top seed Alberta was the only team to play twice today, and they remained undefeated as they overpowered Newfoundland 65-17 and British Columbia 64-26 on home turf.
Ontario topped Nova Scotia 72-23, Saskatchewan defeated Manitoba 68-29, and defending champion Quebec edged New Brunswick 46-39.
“It feels absolutely amazing to be playing on home soil and having everyone in the gym cheering for us,” said Helaina Cyr, of Sherwood Park, who is competing at her third Canada Games with Team Alberta. “We stayed calm today and used the clock to our advantage which really helped us. We’re going for gold this Canada Games but we’re also here to have fun and we want to focus on that as well!”
While Cyr is a veteran at Canada Games, there are many athletes who are competing at Canada Games for the first time. Toronto native Erik Robeznieks of Team Ontario is one of them.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Robeznieks after playing in his first Canada Games wheelchair basketball match. “We had a really strong start. Team Ontario is one big family and we could really feel that out there today. We really emphasized team play and we have a very deep bench. We’re really looking forward to the rest of the Games.”
The wheelchair basketball action continues on Monday and Tuesday with more round robin games. The semi finals are set for Wednesday at 3 p.m. MST and 5 p.m. MST, while the medal games take place on Thursday at 5 p.m. MST and 7 p.m. MST.
Wheelchair basketball is one of the top draws on the program in Red Deer, as the elite skill and athleticism on display makes for a highly competitive and captivating spectator sport. The competition also showcases the inclusivity of wheelchair basketball, as both able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability compete together on a level playing field.
The Canada Games are a milestone in the continued development of the next generation of Canadian national, world and Paralympic champions in wheelchair basketball. The competition features current and future members of the Canadian national team program, including hopefuls to represent Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and beyond.
Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #CGwheelchairbball.
Schedule and Results
The complete tournament schedule and results are available here.
Games are webcast live through the official Canada Games web portal at canadagames.live/wheelchair-basketball, with the exception of the February 19 Quebec VS Saskatchewan; and Ontario VS BC games which will be broadcasted on TSN at 7:30pm MST.
About the 2019 Canada Winter Games
From February 15 until March 3, 2019, the eyes of the nation are on Red Deer, Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games – the largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in Canada and the largest event to be hosted in Red Deer’s history. Featuring over 150 events in 19 sports and a major arts and cultural festival, the 2019 Canada Winter Games welcomes up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 100,000 spectators, with a significant forecasted economic impact. The 27th edition of the Canada Games, the 2019 Games is set to provide a stage for Canada’s next generation of national, international, Olympic and Paralympic champions to compete and leave a legacy for athletic and leadership greatness in Red Deer and central Alberta. For more information on the 2019 Games, please visit canadagames.ca/2019.
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sport governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games.