Canada’s men’s and women’s sitting volleyball teams both reached the podium at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru Aug. 29, with the help of a Langley player.
Danielle Ellis, the 27-year-old women’s team captain, contributed 18 points to Canada’s effort on Wednesday night to defeat host team Peru, 3-0, which earned them a bronze medal.
“To get a bronze today is so exciting for our country,” said Ellis. “Of course we wanted that gold medal match but bronze is great. We knew what we needed to work on, and we were able to swing on some things today and work on our tactics. It was a great feeling to be out there”
The Canadian men posted a 3-0 win over Colombia in their bronze medal match. Captain Doug Learoyd led the charge with 12 points, followed by Darek Symonowicz with 10.
Ellis said the experience as a whole was an indescribable and physically demanding experience.
“The 2019 ParaPan American Games in Lima was quite the experience. It was my second major games and it is always so exciting to be surrounded by athletes, all day, every day,” Ellis said. “To be able to put in 110 per cent of my mental and physical effort every day into my passion is a feeling…I can’t begin to describe. It was also really great that our team had a mix of veteran and new players, people from all walks being able to experience this together.”
This is the third Parapan American Games in a row that the men’s sitting volleyball team has taken home bronze and the second bronze for the women – they had the same result at Toronto 2015.
Next for the team is going to be a last-chance qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“Overall I’m very proud of our team. We worked extremely hard this summer to bridge the gap between ourselves and two of the top ranked teams in the World,” Ellis added. “We’ll be headed to a last chance qualifier in March and we know that we have a chance at Tokyo if we continue to work hard and train hard every day. Everything happens for a reason and I can’t wait to get back to the grind and show the Countries of the World what Canadians can do.”
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