MONTREAL, June 28, 2016 – Judo Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced today that Montreal-based Priscilla Gagné and Tony Walby of Ottawa have been nominated for selection to Team Canada for this September's Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Priscilla Gagné will compete in Rio at her first Paralympic Games. She is off to a strong start in 2016 with two bronze and a silver so far in three international competitions. She was a silver medallist at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, just a few weeks after earning her first international medal at a World Cup in Hungary. Gagné was born in Granby, Que., grew up in Sarnia, Ont. and is now lives and trains in Montreal.
Tony Walby (Ottawa, Ont.) is an established veteran in the sport. He was seventh at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and has been a consistent top-five finisher ever since in international play, including two bronze so far this year at World Cup events. He is a former competitor in able-bodied judo and won 12 medals at the senior nationals before switching to para-judo at age 35, due to deteriorating sight.
"Priscilla has enjoyed international success over the past couple of seasons and she's gained a lot of confidence heading in to her first Paralympic Games," said Judo Canada's Sports Director and Para-Judo Head Coach Andrzej Sadej. "Tony is one of the most experienced para-judokas in the field and he plans to capitalize on that in Rio."
Para-judo is one of 22 summer sports on the Paralympic Games program and is practiced by athletes with a visual impairment. The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are September 7 to 18, 2016, with the para-judo events set for September 8 to 10.
"Congratulations to Priscilla and Tony,'' said Canada's Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc. ''We are fielding two very accomplished para-judo athletes for the Games who have delivered international success in the past. The hard work and dedication they have put into the sport continues to pay off.''
"Congratulations to the Judo Canada athletes who will proudly wear the Maple Leaf in Rio as part of Team Canada," said Carla Qualtrough, Canada's Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. "We hope you reach the podium this summer while Team Canada at home – 35 million strong – cheers you on."
About Judo Canada: www.judocanada.org
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee: www.paralympic.ca
For more information, please contact:
Marie-Hélène Chisholm, High Performance Manager
Louis Daignault, Coordinator, Communications
Canadian Paralympic Committee
Tel: 613-569-4333 x237 / Cell: 613-297-1455