Saskatchewan athletes, coaches ready for Rio Paralympics

Eight athletes born or living in Saskatchewan will represent Canada at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Morgan Bird, Samantha Ryan look to win medals in swimming

Samantha Ryan is competing in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

The 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio are set to get underway, and Saskatchewan is well represented.

The Paralympics are being held from Sept. 7 to 18.

Here is a list of Saskatchewan athletes competing:

  • Ilana Dupont, Athletics (Saskatoon)
  • Shawna Ryan, Cycling - Road (Saskatoon)
  • Logan Campbell, Sailing (Saskatoon)
  • Morgan Bird, Swimming (Regina)
  • Erica Gavel, Women's Wheelchair Basketball (Saskatoon)
  • Miranda Biletski, Wheelchair Rugby (Regina)
  • Samantha Ryan, Swimming (Saskatoon)
  • Nikola (Nik) Goncin, Men's Wheelchair Basketball (Edenwold)

Samantha Ryan was born in England, but lives in Saskatoon.

Goncin was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Morgan Bird, who now lives in Calgary, will be one of the favourites to reach the podium in Rio. The 23-year-old swimmer won two gold medals and a silver in the 2015 Parapan Am Games. She also finished fourth at the 2012 Paralympic Games in the 400-metre freestyle.

Samantha Ryan is also a strong contender for a medal. The 17-year-old reached the top eight in seven different swimming events at the 2015 Parapan Am Games, including a silver-medal winning performance in the 100-metre butterfly.

Wheelchair basketball is also a bright spot for fans wanting to cheer on local athletes. Nik Goncin is one of the best young wheelchair basketball players in the world. Last year, he helped lead Canada to a silver medal at the Parapan Am Games.

Gavel and Canada's women's basketball team also won a silver medal at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.

Saskatchewan leadership

Here are Saskatchewan coaches representing Canada:

  • Jacques Landry, Cycling - Road and track (Saskatoon)
  • Trent Farebrother, Goalball (Estevan)
  • John Wetzstein, Rowing (Regina)
  • Richard Reelie, Athletics (Saskatoon)
  • Katie Miyazaki, Wheelchair Basketball (Saskatoon)

Reelie and Miyazaki were both born in British Columbia, but now call Saskatoon home.