“21-year-old Ruby Stevens from Toronto made Canadian history on Saturday by securing the country’s first gold medal at the 2023 Parapan American Games in the women’s S6 100-metre backstroke. This incredible feat was just the beginning of Canada’s success, as the team went on to win a total of four medals on the same day, with three of them coming from the pool. Stevens expressed her disbelief, stating, ‘It doesn’t quite feel real,’ and added, ‘My dream has come true. I’m happy and excited. I want to keep carrying that strength and determination all the way to the very end of the Games.’
Stevens set a new Parapan Am record of one minute 30.41 seconds, breaking the previous record set in 2019. The other two medal victories in the pool came from Fernando Lu, who won silver in the men’s S10 50 freestyle, and Tyson MacDonald, who swam to bronze in the men’s S14 200 freestyle.
Vancouver table tennis player Stephanie Chan also contributed to Canada’s success by clinching a bronze medal in her match. At 66 years old, Chan is Canada’s oldest athlete in Santiago and showed outstanding resilience despite facing health challenges. Chan shared, ‘Today I wasn’t feeling well. I had some problems with my breathing. (Giselle) played well but this heart problem did not allow me to play a lot this year.’ Despite this setback, Chan remains determined and excited about her medal win and expressed her commitment to returning to table tennis after undergoing heart surgery.
The Games have only just begun, and Canada has a total of 135 athletes competing in 14 different sports. The team currently holds the seventh position in the medal standings, with one gold and four overall medals. As the competition continues until Nov. 26, the world eagerly anticipates the further success and achievements of Canadian athletes on this international stage.”