Brendan Gaulin is ready to achieve goalball gold

By Kyle Morrison, Report on Rio Guest Contributor

Kyle Morrison chatted with Laval Que.’s Brendan Gaulin, who was named to the Canadian Paralympic men’s goalball team for a third time. The announcement was made at Variety Village in Scarborough, Ont. on Friday.  Video produced by Kyle Morrison.

Brendan Gaulin donned his black Team Canada jacket with pride on Friday at the Variety Village in Scarborough, Ont., as the winger from Laval, Que. was officially introduced to represent Canada in goalball at the upcoming Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Canada’s enter this Paralympic tournament with momentum from their strong performance at the 2015 Parapan Am Games, where they won a bronze medal. Gaulin led the way with 20 goals in six games, fourth-most in the tournament.

Brendan Gaulin will be counted upon to be an offensive catalyst for his team in Rio. He scored 20 goals at the Parapan Ams in 2015.

The 27-year-old is competing in his third Paralympics. As a veteran on the men’s team he knows the competition in Rio is going to be stiff.

“Men’s goalball has gotten so deep and so competitive in recent years,” the 2015 Parapan bronze medalist said. “You can’t even single out one team. There’s so many teams that are high-end that the whole tournament is going to be a challenge.”

The Canadian men’s goalball team has a strong core of veteran talent. Gaulin says he believes if they can they have a shot against anyone if they limit their mistakes.

“We have amazing team chemistry. We’ve bonded really well together over the years and there’s great energy and it’s a really great group of guys,” Gaulin said. “If there’s anything we need to focus on it’s that we can’t beat ourselves. It’s something that happens now and then, but we can’t afford to beat ourselves.”

He identifies offence as the team’s strong suit, while defence is an aspect of the game the team has tried to improve coming into Rio.

“If we’re solid defensively then we stand a chance against anybody,” Gaulin said. “We’ve seen that in the past couple years at the Parapan Ams and tournaments we’ve been at this year where we’re right there with the top teams in the world and it’s just a matter of being consistent in our game.”

Gaulin and Canada’s men’s goalball team will open their quest for gold with a tough test against Brazil. The host nation won gold at the 2015 Parapan Ams.

The athletes nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Team are as follows:

Men’s goalball team
*Brendan Gaulin (Laval, Que.)
*Bruno Haché (Montreal, Que.)
Blair Nesbitt (Stony Plain, Alta.)
Simon Richard (Dieppe, N.B.)
*Doug Ripley (New Westminster, B.C.)
*Ahmad Zeividavi (Vancouver, B.C.)

The men’s team will be supported by head coach Trent Farebrother of Castor, Alta. and assistant coach Darren Hamilton of Calgary, Alta.

Women’s goalball team
*Ashlie Andrews (Penticton, B.C.)
*Whitney Bogart (Marathon, Ont.)
*Amy Burk (Charlottetown, PEI)
Meghan Mahon (Timmins, Ont.)
*Jillian McSween (Halifax, N.S.)
*Nancy Morin (Longueuil, Que.)

The women’s team will be supported by head coach Nathalie Séguin of Montreal, Que. and assistant coach Darren Hamilton of Calgary, Alta.

*Denotes previous Paralympic Games experience

Follow Kyle Morrison on Twitter: @KyleMorrison25

Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

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