Patrick Anderson back to lead Canada at wheelchair basketball worlds
3-time Paralympic gold medallist left to focus on music career in 2012
Patrick Anderson's music career will have to wait.
The three-time Paralympic gold medallist has returned to Canada's wheelchair basketball team, hoping to help Canada climb the medal podium at the world championships.
The 39-year-old from Fergus, Ont., who lost his legs in a car accident at the age of nine, helped Canada win gold at the 2000, 2004, and 2012 Paralympics, plus silver in 2008, but he left the sport after the 2012 London Games to pursue a music career. He and wife Anna Paddock make up the musical duo The Lay Awakes.
CBC Sports will stream all of the Canadian men's and women's games at the tournament.
"Even after playing some preparation tournament this summer, we are going to have to be at the top of our game," Anderson said, on Wheelchair Basketball Canada's website. "I'm looking forward to being back."
Minus Anderson, the Canadians were 11th at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. He's rejoined Tyler Miller, David Eng, Bo Hedges and Chad Jassman who were on the team that won Paralympic gold in 2012.
The Canadian men open the 16-team tournament Friday against Morocco.
Canada's women's team, which faces Great Britain in its opener of the 12-team tournament Friday, is the defending world champion but missed the Paralympic podium in Rio, finishing fifth. The Canadian women have won five world titles, plus two bronze, and have climbed the podium at every world championships since the inaugural tournament in 1990.
"As the defending world champions, we know we have to be at our best every game because the competition will be incredibly high," said Canadian team veteran Cindy Ouellet. "We have logged a lot of hours on court and in the gym to prepare for this event. We trust the process and in each other. We know that we are ready to take another shot at the podium in Hamburg."
Following Friday's openers, the men will play Germany on Sunday and Iran on Monday.
The Canadian women will face Spain on Saturday, Australia on Sunday, the Netherlands on Tuesday, and Brazil on Wednesday.