Swimming Canada is nominating 11 Para-swimmers to its 2018 Commonwealth Games team – including Vernon’s Sarah Mehain – which will be the largest integrated team in Canadian swimming history.
The group headed to Gold Coast, Australia, in April includes Mehain and seven other members of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games team. Quadruple world-record holder Aurélie Rivard, who won four medals in Rio and was named Canada’s flag bearer, headlines the team, which also includes Rio medallists Katarina Roxon and Tess Routliffe.
Mehain competed in five events in Rio, making the finals in three of them: 50m butterfly (fourth), 200m individual medley (fifth) and 50m freestyle (seventh). She also competed in the 100m breaststroke (10th) and 100m backstroke (11th).
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Mehain won four medals at the 2015 ParaPan Am Games in Toronto: gold in the 50m butterfly, and silver in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, and 100m backstroke.
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Morgan Bird and Rio gold medallists Rivard and Roxon all represented Canada at the Glasgow, Scotland 2014 Commonwealth Games. They will join world champion and world-record holder Kylie Masse, Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak and others to bring the Canadian contingent to 37 total athletes. The swimming competition takes place from April 4-9 at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
“The 11 swimmers who will compete in the Para-swimming events in the pool bring a wealth of international experience to the team,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson. “I am delighted that we can announce these additions to our 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming team, making an integrated team of 37 swimmers from our Olympic and Paralympic programs.”
Mehain is studying sustainability sciences at Montreal’s McGill University.
She enjoyed a successful first Paralympic Games in London in 2012. She reached the final in four of her six events placing sixth in the 50m butterfly and seventh in the 50m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.
Mehain has cerebral palsy and is hemiplegic. It has left one side of her body weaker than the other, and not as coordinated.