Blair McIntosh, Chef de Mission, Team Ontario, announced Friday that 22-year-old wheelchair basketball athlete Shayne Smith has been named flag bearer for Team Ontario during the Opening Ceremony at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax.
“Shayne is an incredible individual and a role model for all of Team Ontario,” said McIntosh. “When we enter the Opening Ceremony, we will be led by a young man who embodies the values of Team Ontario and a most deserving individual to receive this honour.”
Smith is a native of Toronto anda graduate from Thornhill Secondary School’s High Performance Athlete Program, which allows elite athletes to participate in their chosen sport without having an adverse effect on their education. He has played wheelchair basketball for the past 14 years and was a member of the silver medal-winning team at the 2007 Canada Games. Smith also represented Canada in 2007 and 2009 as a member of the junior national team. Off the court, Smith is an inspirational speaker for Ready, Willing and Able well as Variety Village, raising awareness for people with physical disabilities. As a member of the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association, he participates in a program called Bridging the Gap – teaching recently disabled young people wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey, emphasizing that if he can do it – anyone can. In 1996, Smith was chosen to join several dignitaries and Statesmen to have tea with President Nelson Mandela and was once selected to present Queen Elizabeth II with a Limited Edition doll as a gift from Variety.
The Opening Ceremony from the Halifax Metro Centre will kick-off the Games on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 6 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast live on TSN2.
Members of the media and fans are encouraged to visit the official team site at www.teamontario.info for more information regarding Team Ontario. The official Team Ontario media guide and Canada Games television broadcast schedule are both available on the Team Ontario site.
Follow Team Ontario on Twitter (@TeamONTMedia), Facebook and Flickr to recieve up-to-date information on each sport and competition, as well as news and behind-the-scene stories and photos.
A total of 354 athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff will represent the province for the 23rd version of the Canada Winter Games. Participants from Team Ontario are from 115 different locations across Ontario. A version of the Team Ontario roster by hometown is available here.
Team Ontario has had great success in the Canada Games since its inception in 1967, having won the Canada Games Flag on 18 of 22 occasions, including the last Canada Winter Games in 2007 located in Whitehorse.
About Team Ontario
The Sport Alliance of Ontario coordinates the administration of Team Ontario on behalf of the Ministry of Health Promotion. The Sport Alliance selects the mission staff for Team Ontario and coordinates Team Ontario planning with Ontario’s provincial sport organizations. Staff and volunteers from the sport and recreation community serve as Mission Staff for Team Ontario. Mission staff provides support to an assigned sport before, during and after the Canada Games.
Team Ontario Communications Mission Staff