August 28, 2012
UVic Connections To London Paralympics
Four athletes with connections to the University of Victoria are taking part in the London 2012 Paralympics, which open on Wednesday.
Among the 42 British Columbia athletes on Team Canada are wheelchair basketball players Jessica Vliegenthart and former UVic Vike Janet McLachlan, swimmer Brianna Nelson and Tim Rees, a postdoctoral research fellow at UVic’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences who competes in judo.
McLachlan is competing in her second Paralympic Summer Games with the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team, which is currently ranked number 3 in the world. She played for the UVic Vikes 1995–2000, winning national championships in 1998 and 2000. She also represented Canada at the 2001 Beijing Student Games. She began competing in wheelchair basketball in 2006 and returned to Beijing for the 2008 Paralympics Games.
Vliegenthart, a UVic law grad, is competing in her first Paralympic Games. She began the sport in 2006 and within a year was named to Team BC for the 2007 Canada Winter Games. In 2009 she was selected to the national women’s team. The Canadian women open play Friday versus Netherlands.
Brianna Nelson, who is studying psychology and history, is competing in six events in London, her second Paralympics. She also competed in six events at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, with her best performance a sixth-place finish in the 100m backstroke. Nelson was born with cerebral palsy, which affects her right side.
Rees, who is legally blind, opens the 2012 Paralympic judo competition with a qualifying round on Saturday. He previously had fifth and seventh place finishes at the World Paralympic Games in 2011 and 2010, and won bronze at the 2011 Parapan American Games.
Mitch Wright (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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