At her fourth Paralympic Games, Marni Abbott-Peter will not be on the court. The three-time world champion and three-time Paralympic gold medal wheelchair basketball player joins the coaching staff of the women’s national team at the 2012 London Games.
“With this team, I really bring experience,” said Abbott-Peter, 47, who has coached provincial teams and credits former Canadian team head coach Tim Frick for her long-term success.
“He taught me to be a better person and not just a better athlete,” she said. “That was really important and I think I can help the girls recognize the really good qualities in themselves and the things that are important off the courts, too.”
The Opening Ceremony for the Summer Paralympic Games is Wednesday and the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments begins Thursday.
Abbott-Peter is one of Vancouver’s most successful Paralympians. Another is Richard Peter, her husband, who is competing at his fifth and likely final Games in wheelchair basketball.
Ten more Vancouverites are competing at the 2012 London Games.
Paul Gauthier, Monica Martino and Josh Vander Vies compete in mixed pairs and mixed individual boccia.
Ahmed Zeividavi and Brendan Gaulin play goalball, a fast, non-contact sport for visually impaired athletes. Robert Lebel joins them as the head coach of the national team.
At his sixth Paralympics in London, Christos Trifonidis will compete in two shooting events, including the 10-metre and 50-metre air rifle. A world champion in 2001, he has twice finished fourth at the Games and in Beijing, finished fourth again after narrowly losing a three-way tie for bronze.
At his fourth Games, David Scott Patterson will compete for the first time as a swimmer. A double-leg amputee, he ran track at the 1988 Summer Games, and at the 2002 Winter Games won bronze in the giant slalom. He was on the alpine ski team again in Torino. In London he will swim the 100-metre breaststroke.
Donovan Tildesley, also on the swim team, will race in the 100m fly, 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 200 individual medley.
Men’s wheelchair rugby (popularized as “murderball”) includes Vancouver residents Fabien Lavoie and Ian Chan by way of Montreal and Richmond, respectively.