VANCOUVER, B.C. - A look at some Canadian athletes to watch at the 2010 Winter Paralympics:
McKeever, who is visually impaired, won two gold, a silver and a bronze medal at the 2006 Turin Paralympic Games, along with his brother Robin, who acts as his guide. The 29-year-old Canmore, Alta., native also won two gold and a silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics. Hobbled by a fractured rib, McKeever still managed to win two gold medals at a recent World Cup test event on the same venue in Whistler, B.C., that will host the Paralympics.
Skiing in the amputee class, the 27-year-old Calgary native won four gold medals at the recent International Paralympic Committee world Alpine ski championships in Korea. Woolstencroft also won a gold and silver medal at the 2006 Turin Paralympics. She was named best female athlete at the 2007 Paralympic Sport Awards at the IPC general assembly in Seoul.
The Richmond, B.C., native hopes to defend the gold medal Christopher Daw's rink won for Canada in Turin. Armstong led Canada to a gold medal in the recent world wheelchair curling championships held in the same Vancouver venue that will be used during the Olympics and Paralympics. Armstrong began curling in 1958 and competed in six Briers before knee and back injuries forced him to use a wheelchair.
If it's hockey, Canadians expect to win and the Paralympic sledge hockey team is no different. Grassi is a defenceman on the team that won gold in Turin and at the 2008 world championships. The Windsor, Ont., native also is a member of the Canadian team that won the Hockey Canada Cup last month, held in the Vancouver venue where the Paralympics will be played. The 26-year-old defenceman is considered one of the hardest hitters in the sport.
A veteran of five Paralympics, the 2010 Games will be Bourgonje's last. She won two silver medals at the 1998 Paralympics in Nagano and two bronze in Turin. She also competed in Lillehammer (1994) and Salt Lake City (2002). The 47-year-old Saskatoon native was the first wheelchair student to earn a degree in physical education at the University of Saskatchewan.