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Canadian Paralympic Committee – OTTAWA – Jan. 21, 2016 – The Canadian Paralympic Committee is applauding today the naming of CEO Karen O’Neill and fellow sport leaders to the Most Influential Women List for 2015 from the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).


There is also a strong Paralympic presence on the new 2015 CAAWS Wall of Influence, recognizing women who have had an ongoing influence in sport in Canada and have been on the list five or more times. All honored today have made a significant impact in their areas of expertise and are role models for future generations.


The Canadian Paralympic movement continued to advance this year under the leadership of O’Neill, with sustained focus and work towards becoming a world-leading Paralympic nation. Working with Canadian Paralympic Committee members and partners, O’Neill and her team focused on building strong service and support to athletes and coaches in preparation for the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games; as well as the implementation of new initiatives targeting athlete identification, enhanced training environments, coaching support and programs to help more people with a disability get involved in sport.


Along with O’Neill, women involved in the Paralympic movement who have been recognized for their leadership and accomplishments in 2015 include:

  • Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission, Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
  • Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
  • Lorraine Lafrenière, CEO, Coaching Association of Canada
  • Anne Merklinger, CEO, Own the Podium
  • Sue Hylland, President and CEO, Canada Games Council
  • Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of Tennis Canada
  • Swimmer Aurélie Rivard, who won two world titles in 2015 along with six gold and one silver at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games

Full list of recipients:


“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, our congratulations to all recipients, especially those involved in advancing the Paralympic movement,” said Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “Last year was a phenomenal Year of Sport in Canada and as we now look towards Rio 2016 and beyond, I want to particularly thank Karen for providing continued leadership for the Canadian Paralympic Committee.”


About the Canadian Paralympic Committee


The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 27 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee’s vision is to be the world’s leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit 




For more information, please contact:


Alison Korn

Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications

Canadian Paralympic Committee

Phone: 613-569-4333 ext. 243

Cell: 613-298-4927


Martin Richard

Executive Director, Communications and Marketing

Canadian Paralympic Committee

Tel: 613-569-4333 ext. 224

Cell: 613-725-4339