Canada will be represented by four athletes at the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo, with Calgary’s four-time world champion Stefan Daniel, who took silver at the debut of Para triathlon in Rio, headlining the squad that will compete over the sprint distance (750 m swim, 20 km bike and 5 km run) on August 28 and 29.
Now 24, Daniel has won the last three world titles (2017 to 2019) and will head to Tokyo as a medal favourite in the PTS5 category.
“I’m really excited to be named to my second Paralympic team,” said Daniel. “I think I’ve become a much more mature and experienced athlete than I was in Rio. I’ve been working really hard for Tokyo for five years now and I’m going to do my absolute best to bring a gold medal home for Canada.”
Canada will be represented in the women’s PTS5 event by Dieppe, NB’s Kamylle Frenette, 25. She made her international debut in Para triathlon in 2018 and has enjoyed a rapid rise to the top of the sport. She finished fourth at the 2018 and 2019 world championships.
“If someone had told me four years ago that I’d be toeing the line at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, I would never have believed them,” said Frenette. “These past four years have been an incredible time of growth for me, both on the athletic and personal level. I went from being in denial that I had a disability, to embracing it and actually loving my ‘little foot’. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to race and test myself alongside so many incredible athletes this coming August!”
Sault Ste. Marie’s Jessica Tuomela, 37, heads back to the Parlympics after competing at three different Games as a swimmer. She earned a silver medal at the 2000 Games in Sydney and also represented Canada at the Games in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). She’ll compete in the women’s visually impaired (PTVI) category with her guide Marianne Hogan. The two have been racing together since 2019 – they won the Tokyo Para World Cup event that year and finished third at the world championships.
“Going to the Paralympics once is pretty incredible in and of itself. It’s something that most people don’t have the opportunity to do. Going for a fourth time and now in a different sport is quite surreal,” said Tuomela. “Representing Canada is an absolute privilege, not a right. I am very excited to step onto the international stage again wearing the maple leaf.”
Coaching the team will be Carolyn Murray, who competed at the 2008 Olympic Games and has run Canada’s Para triathlon program since 2014.
“This is an exceptionally talented and resilient group of athletes who have never wavered in their focus of not only qualifying to represent Canada at the Paralympics, but to go to Tokyo and deliver podium results,” said Murray. “This group of athletes are ready to represent their country proudly with inspirational performances, be true role models, and share in the successes of all Team Canada athletes and coaches this August.”