Ontario athletes ready to represent Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario is sending a strong contingent of athletes to compete for Canada at the XXXI Olympic Summer Games, which start today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This year, of the 313 athletes that will compete at the games with Team Canada, 141 hail from Ontario, including:

  • Rosie MacLennan, Team Canada’s opening ceremony flag bearer and trampoline gymnast from King City, who won gold at the 2012 summer Olympics
  • Damian Warner, a Toronto decathlete who will attempt to become only the second Canadian in history to reach the Olympic podium in decathlon
  • Lesley Thompson-Willie, a 56 year-old London rower and the oldest member of Team Canada. The 2016 Games are Thompson-Willie’s eighth, tying her for the all-time Olympic record for games appearances by a woman
  • Mark Oldershaw, a third generation Olympic canoeist, who paddled his way to gold at the 2016 International Canoe Federation Canoe Sprint World Cup in Portugal
  • Penny Oleksiak, a 16 year-old swimmer from Toronto, who set a Canadian record in the 100-metre fly at this year’s Olympic trials

“It’s a tremendous honour to have Ontario athletes and coaches on Team Canada at the Olympic Games. Their dedication and commitment to sport is an inspiration to those of us watching at home. Ontario supports athletes through programs like Quest for Gold, which encourages recipients to pursue their personal bests and place on international stages. I know that I will be joined by Ontarians all across the province in cheering on our athletes in Rio!,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Last summer’s TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games were an important springboard for many of the Team Canada athletes competing in Rio. Athletes gained unique experience at a high-pressure international multi-sport competition, and achieved a top-two finish for Canada and a record medal count, with Ontario athletes contributing to close to half. As well, 25 new or renovated sports facilities — such as the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and the York University Stadium — are long-lasting legacies of the 2015 Games, serving the local community and providing important training facilities for high-performance athletes.

From August 5 – 21, 2016, 10,500 Olympians from more than 205 countries will compete in 42 sports at the XXXI Olympic Summer Games.

Since 2006, Quest for Gold has provided Ontario athletes and coaches with approximately $100 million in support.

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