Parksville swimmer Nicholas Bennett has earned a chance to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. (Submitted photo)

Parksville swimmer Nicholas Bennett has earned a chance to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. (Submitted photo)

Parksville swimmer earns spot on Canadian Paralympic team for Tokyo Games

Nicholas Bennett heads to Japan in August

Parksville swimmer Nicholas Bennett has earned a spot in the Canadian team that will compete in the Tokyo Paralympic Games beginning Aug. 24.

“I am excited that all of my training has paid off and I am looking forward to representing Canada,” Bennett said in an email to the PQB News.

Following the cancellation of the Paralympic Swimming Trials last month due to the global COVID-1, in order to fill the remaining four of Canada’s 19 positions, Swimming Canada invited eligible athletes to demonstrate competitive readiness via submission of training logs and data as well as a video-recorded time trial performance.

Bennett, along with Matthew Cabraja of Brampton, Ont., Tammy Cunnington of Ponoka, Alta., and Angela Marina of Cambridge, Ont., earned the spots, completing an unusual nomination process that started back in September 2019 at the World Para Swimming Championships in London.

“Nicholas, Matthew, Tammy and Angela along with their coaches have each demonstrated through their performances at the end of May their talent, tenacity, adaptability and ability to perform on demand,” said Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada Associate High Performance Director and Para Swimming National Coach. “Off the back of these performances, I am confident that they will be in even better shape to perform for Canada in Tokyo this summer.”

Bennett had made a strong case to land one of the spots on Team Canada after posting a string of good results that saw him win gold medals in two major competitions in 2019 that included setting world and Canadian records. But the 2020 Paralympic Games were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was moved to 2021.

“I am not surprised at all that Nicholas made it,” said Mike Thompson, Bennett’s coach. “That’s what we were going for.”

Bennett has been training at CHP-Quebec in Montreal which Thompson said has been a big advantage for him.

“He lives far away from his family and there literally hasn’t been anything to do except train,” said Thompson. “So it has been a very tough year trying to keep everyone engaged without racing. We did most of our racing in unofficial time trials against no one. So it’s going to be very beneficial for Nick to start racing people again.

“Overall I’m very impressed that Nick took the initiative to live in Montreal, far away from his family, stayed focused and was able to compete fast enough to win a spot on the team with his training partners Tess, James, Morgan and Zach.”

The selection process for the team was way different from what Swimming Canada have been accustomed to.

“These have been difficult times and this was a challenging process,” added Swimming Canada’s chief executive officer, Ahmed El-Awadi. “In the end, we’re confident this is the best team to represent Canada. We know they will all do us proud.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED STORY: Greater Victoria runners close in on Olympic, Paralympic spots

paralympianParksvilleSwimming

Just Posted

Graeme Wright is the owner of Hullabaloo, a new ice cream and coffee food truck serving patrons at the Red Barn on West Saanich. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff).
VIDEO: Cool treats, warm bevvies a specialty for new Saanich food truck

Hullabaloo owner Graeme Wright passionate about blending green space with sustainability

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Nicky Cook and Kelly Yee set up their stand at Peninsula Country Market. (Black Press Media file photo)
Peninsula farmers markets ready to welcome back patrons

Both the Peninsula Country Market and North Saanich Farm Market plan to expand offerings in the summer

The closure of Government Street to vehicle traffic between Humboldt and Yates streets began June 11. The corridor will be pedestrian-only between noon and 10 p.m. daily until at least this fall. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Downtown Victoria timed closure of Government Street begins

Pedestrian priority times part of city’s Build Back Victoria program

Workers clean off the red paint sprayed on the statue of Queen Victoria at the front of the B.C. legislature Friday. It is unclear when the vandalism took place. A protest rally against old-growth logging was happening on the legislature lawns Friday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
UPDATE: Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue base splattered with what looks to be red paint, old-growth logging protest held in afternoon

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read