The Canadian Paralympic Committee has announced that retired sledge hockey player Todd Nicholson will be Team Canada’s chef de mission for the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The 47-year-old Ottawa native competed in five Paralympic Games, including sledge hockey’s debut at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
The three-time Paralympic medallist won a bronze for Canada in 1994, a silver in 1998 and captained Team Canada to a gold in 2006 in Turin, Italy.
A team captain for 15 years, Nicholson was Canada’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2006 Games.
“I’m very excited about leading Team Canada for the 2018 Paralympic Games,” Nicholson said in a release. “Athletes and coaches are always my number one priority and I hope the experience I’ve gained both as an athlete and in the leadership roles I’ve fulfilled since my playing career will benefit the overall team.
“I believe in the importance of teamwork and fair play in sports and in life, and in bringing a positive attitude to identifying winning approaches.”
A member of Canada’s National Sledge Team from 1989 to 2010, Nicholson attended his sixth Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014 — this time off the ice, as chair of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council.
Chef de mission’s role
Nicholson also currently serves as a governing board member for the IPC and is the IPC Athlete Representative to the International Olympic Committee.
The chef de mission is the official spokesperson for the Canadian Paralympic team. A part of the leadership group, the volunteer role requires dedication and is a significant time commitment.
In this role, Nicholson will also promote Canadian athletes as well as raise awareness for Paralympic sport and the Canadian Paralympic Team.
During his on-ice career, Nicholson excelled at the world sledge hockey championships, winning a total of eight medals. He was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
The newly named chef de mission has also competed on the national and international stage in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, triathlon, marathons and para-skeleton.
Approximately 670 athletes will take part in 80 medal events in Pyeongchang from March 9-18, 2018, competing in sledge hockey, alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, wheelchair curling and snowboard.