A small but decorated group of Saskatchewan individuals will represent the province at the Paralympic Games, running March 4-13 in Beijing.
The Saskatchewan Olympic contingent for the Beijing Games features two athletes in three-time Paralympic Para Nordic skier Brittany Hudak, and decorated World Cup newcomer in Para snowboarding Lisa DeJong, as well as multi-Paralympic coaches from Saskatoon Ken Babey in Para hockey and Kaspar Wirz in Para Nordic skiing.
“Congratulations to the athletes and coaches who will be representing our province at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. “Thank you for being strong role models for Saskatchewan. Know that we are proud of you and will be cheering you on. Best of luck.”
Prince Albert’s Hudak will compete in multiple standing cross-country and biathlon events in Beijing. She made her Paralympic debut in Sochi in 2014 competing in the 15, one and five-kilometre standing cross country events, finishing 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively. Four years later in PyeongChang, she captured the bronze medal in the 12.5-km standing biathlon and competed in four other Para Nordic disciplines at the Games.
Para snowboard newcomer Lisa DeJong has turned heads since being named to the Canadian NextGen team in 2020. Competing in World Cup events beginning in late 2021, Biggar’s DeJong has won two silver medals and a gold in the LL2 events. It will be her Paralympic debut in Beijing as she aims for the podium in the banked slalom and snowboard cross events.
On the coaching front, Babey returns to the helm of the Canadian men’s Para hockey team. The group will look to upgrade a silver medal finish from PyeongChang in 2018. Wirz will coach in his seventh Paralympic Games in the Para Nordic disciplines – five with Canada, one with the Republic of Korea and 2022 with China.
“The four individuals who will represent the province at the Paralympic Games are strong ambassadors for sport,” said Lance Dudar, Sask Sport Chair. “As an amateur sport community, we can be proud of everything they have accomplished on their journeys to the Games. I would like to congratulate them on their success and determination and thank all those who played a role in helping them achieve their dreams.”
Click on cheeronsask.ca for everything you need to know about the Olympics and Paralympics. The website, a partnership between Sask Sport, Sask Lotteries and the Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan, documents the athletes, coaches, officials and staff from Saskatchewan on their journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, features a comprehensive schedule specific to the Saskatchewan athletes that includes date, times, viewing options and results and will house daily recaps with results and information specific to the Saskatchewan contingent. It will also feature an aggregate of news from the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and National Sport Organizations.
Follow along on social media on @SaskSport, @SaskLotteries and @CSCSaskatchewan and use the hashtag #SaskProud for further updates and information from cheeronsask.ca.
Lisa DeJong – Para snowboard, Biggar
Brittany Hudak – Para Nordic, Prince Albert
Ken Babey – Para hockey, Saskatoon
Kaspar Wirz – Para Nordic, Saskatoon, Team China