Most important competition of the year begins for Boccia Canada in Rio
Ottawa, ON (December 2, 2022) – Eight boccia athletes will be representing Canada and competing at the Rio de Janeiro World Boccia Championships starting with the individual event beginning on December 6th and Team/Pairs on December 11th.
Number three in the world in BC4 Female Individual, Alison Levine (Montréal, QC), is anticipating “a very high level of play at the Rio World Championships. Everyone who arrives wants to grab a medal at a major event.”
All eight Canadian athletes are participating in individual play given their placement at previous World Boccia competitions or world ranking.
Danik Allard (Bois-des-Filion, QC), Kristyn Collins (St. John’s, NL), and Lance Cryderman (Sudbury, ON) were medalists at the Americas Regional Championships in Team which allows them to participate in both Team BC1/BC2 and individual play respectively in Rio.
Marco Dispaltro (St.-Jérôme, QC) and Lois Martin (St. John’s, NL) qualified for Rio based on their international rank in individual play while Joëlle Guérette (Montréal, QC) is the only BC3 to attend the competition based on a special exception as sole BC3 competitor for Boccia Canada.
This will be César Nicolai’s first World Championships as Head Coach of the National Team and there’s definitely an opportunity for a lot of firsts. “For the majority of our athletes it’s their first participation in a World Championships and I’m looking forward to seeing them compete in a competition of this stature. It will also give us an opportunity to observe boccia athletes from all over the world.”
For Nicolai, it’s an opportunity to make history as well: “We have our hearts set on climbing for the first time in the history of Boccia Canada, onto the podium at a World Championships in the BC4 Pairs category. There are some good countries in this category, but we have the assets to do it.”
After medalling at the Regional Championships in BC4 Pairs, Paralympians Iulian Ciobanu (Montréal, QC) and Levine are looking for the podium and the opportunity to secure a spot in the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
“Iulian and I are ready to continue showing the world why we’re one of the best. We want to finish on the podium, if not, all the way on the top. Very high goals but very attainable.” Ciobanu is eleventh in the world in individuals.
All athletes are coming back from an action-packed week at the 2022 Canadian Boccia Championships in London, Ontario which ended almost two weeks ago. Since then, the National Team has been back at training preparing for Rio and to show the world, what Canada is capable of.
“In preparation of the event it’s less about big changes being made. It’s more about refining your skills, solidifying your game style, and not stressing your body too much. Making sure you’re physically and mentally ready to play, which we are,” said Levine.
There is a total of 169 athletes attending the Rio World Boccia Championships and Canada is competing in nine of the eleven events.
The link for the results and schedule will be updated once classification is finished via Boccia Canada’s Facebook page here.
The webcast can be found here.
About Boccia Canada
Boccia Canada is the boccia delivery arm of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (CCPSA), the National Sport Organization for the Paralympic sport of boccia. Boccia Canada is focused on providing athletes and individuals of all ages and skill with the chance to play a unique Paralympic sport. CCPSA collaborates with partners to increase the participation of Canadians with cerebral palsy and related disabilities in sport and physical activity, while leading, developing and growing boccia from grassroots, to producing World and Paralympic Champions.
Boccia is a Paralympic sport of precision and strategy similar to lawn bowling or curling, played by athletes with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and related disabilities. It is one of only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart. Athletes compete in one of six sport classes based on their level and type of disability: BC1, BC2, BC3, BC4, BC5, and Open. For more information on boccia, visit www.bocciacanada.ca