“These terrific Canadian athletes have proven that they are among the best in the world,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Canada is enormously proud of their outstanding performances which will undoubtedly inspire young Canadians across the country.”
Valérie Grand’Maison was born in Fleurimont, Quebec, and resides in Montreal, Quebec. She is a two-time Paralympian and this is her ninth Paralympic medal, the third at these London Games. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, Ms. Grand’Maison won six medals in swimming: three gold, two silver and one bronze.
Amber Thomas, of Drayton Valley, Alberta, is a two-time Paralympian – having competed in the 2008 Games in Beijing – and this is her first Paralympic medal. Ms. Thomas broke the Canadian record in the 400-metre freestyle at the 2012 Paralympic swim trials. At the Para Pan Pacific Championships in Edmonton in 2011, Ms. Tomas won five gold and two silver medals.
Jason Dunkerley was born in Newtownards, Ireland, and resides in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a four-time track and field Paralympian and this is his fifth Paralympic medal, having won a silver in Sydney, a silver in Athens, a bronze in Beijing, and a bronze at these London Games. In 2011, Mr. Dunkerley won a silver medal and a bronze at the at the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a gold medal at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in New Zealand. In 2007, he won two gold medals at the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Joshua Karanja was born in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya, and resides in Ottawa, Ontario. He is competing in the London Games as guide runner for Jason Dunkerley. This is his first time representing Canada at the Paralympic Games, and his second Paralympic medal of these London Games. Mr. Karanja is a former NCAA track and field steeple chase All-American athlete and has been training with Mr. Dunkerley since summer 2011.
Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Quebec, is a three-time Paralympian, having previously competed in the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games. This is his third Paralympic medal of these London Games, having already won a silver medal in the Men’s 400-metre (T53), and a silver medal in the Men’s 800-metre. In 2011, Mr. Lakatos, a wheelchair racer, won a silver medal in the 200-meter and a bronze in the 100-meter events (T53) at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in New Zealand.
Virginia McLachlan, of Windsor, Ontario, is a first time Paralympic track and field athlete and this is her second Paralympic medal at these London Games, having already won a bronze medal in the Women’s 200-metre (T35). At the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, she won silver medals in the 100-metre and 200-metre and is the current T35 Canadian record holder in those events.
The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games are being held from August 29 to September 9 in London, United Kingdom. Canada is being represented by more than 145 athletes who are competing in 15 sports. More than 4,000 athletes from 125 countries are participating in the largest ever Paralympic Games.