London 2012 Paralympic Games bronze medallist Marco Dispaltro is no stranger to para-sports. With a strong background in wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby, he exploded onto the boccia scene in May 2010 on the encouragement of head coach Mario Delisle.

Dispaltro held a No. 1 world ranking in his classification entering the 2015 season. Dispaltro started his wheelchair sports odyssey in 1993 as a rugby player and played until 2004. From 2001 until 2008, he acted as the high performance coordinator of the Canadian national rugby team and held this title until 2008. Later that year, he became the head coach for Sweden, leading them to unprecedented heights.

After years of coaxing and hesitation, Dispaltro tried boccia in May 2010 and it was love at first throw. His respect for the sport of boccia grew exponentially in the first couple of months of training and he's still dazzled by the talent showcased at the elite level. His achievements in boccia include his bronze in pairs with Josh Vander Vies at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and silver at both the World Cup and the Parapan American Games in 2011. In 2015 he earned a silver medal in mixed pairs at the Parapan American Games in Toronto with Alison Levine and Caroline Vietnieks.

Born with muscular dystrophy, Dispaltro has always been a fighter and brings that spirit wherever he goes. He's a fully dedicated athlete who trains religiously, keeping meticulous training reports and striving for perfection. He quickly masters the technical aspects of the sport he does and he's relentlessly looking to get that edge over the competition.

"We are not born champions, we become champions," is the motto he abides by. Influential people who have helped him in his sporting career include Duncan Campbell and Stéphan Dubuc in rugby, and Josh Vander Vies and Mario Delisle in boccia.

Career highlights

  • Won bronze  with teammate Josh Vander Vies at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

​Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee