Edmonton

Alberta wheelchair basketball players to make Paralympic debut

Two Alberta athletes share one dream: scoring a spot on the podium while representing Canada in wheelchair basketball at the Paralympic Games in Rio next month. Arinn Young, 20, and Yoomin Peter Won, 18, departed from the Edmonton International Airport on Monday with the hope of turning that dream into reality.

Arinn Young and Yoomin Peter Won depart from Edmonton for Rio with their sights set on a medal

Arinn Young, 20, prepares to depart from the Edmonton International Airport Monday. She's headed to Rio, where she will represent Canada on the women's wheelchair basketball team in the Paralympics. (CBC)

Two Alberta athletes share one dream: scoring a spot on the podium while representing Canada in wheelchair basketball at the Paralympic Games in Rio next month.

Arinn Young, 20, and Yoomin Peter Won, 18, departed from the Edmonton International Airport on Monday with hopes of turning that dream into reality.

We're kind of just going into it knowing what we can do.- Arinn Young, Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team

"Hopefully, we accomplish what we want to do and have everyone in Canada at home proud of us," Young told reporters before boarding the plane.

"I just can't wait to go out there and show what Canadians are made of."

Although both players will be making their Paralympic debuts, they're already at home in the international arena.

Young, who lives in Legal, Alta., was a member of the women's wheelchair basketball team that won gold at the world championships in Toronto in 2014. Won, who resides in Blackfalds, Alta., was on the men's wheelchair basketball team that took silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games, also in Toronto.

"This time we're trying to do one better and take gold," Won said.

Yoomin Peter Won is a member of the 2016 Canadian men's wheelchair basketball team. He is pictured at the Edmonton International Airport before leaving for Rio to compete in the Paralympics. (CBC)

After Team Canada was announced this spring, Young and Won went to Rio with their squads for a test event.

"I can't wait to go back. I'm already so excited," Young said. 

"We're kind of just going into it knowing what we can do. We're going to take it minute by minute, day by day."

The sentiment is one echoed by Won.

"We're just going to focus on the games, on the performance," said Won, who sees the U.S., Great Britain and Australia as the biggest competition.

The Paralympics run from Sept. 7-18.

Both teams play their first game on Sept. 8.

now