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Three Island venues part of nation-wide light-up for Paris-bound Paralympians

Fifty landmarks and buildings across the country 鈥 including three on Vancouver Island 鈥 will be illuminated Tuesday night in red, violet and gold to honour the Paris-bound Canadian Paralympic team.
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Included in the light up Tuesday night will be the Legislative Buildings and adjacent Confederation Garden Court waterfall. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

It is 50 days until Paralympians from around the world march or wheel into the Stade de France on Aug. 28 for the opening ceremony of Paris 2024. They’ll include gold-medal favourites Nate Riech and Mel Pemble of Victoria in track and cycling respectively, and Nicholas Bennett of Parksville in swimming.

To commemorate the occasion, 50 landmarks and buildings across the country will be illuminated Tuesday night in red, violet and gold to honour the Paris-bound Canadian Paralympic team. Included in the light up, after sunset Tuesday evening, will be the Legislative Buildings and adjacent Confederation Garden Court waterfall in Victoria and the Bastion in Nanaimo.

Other light-ups across the county will include sa国际传媒 Place, Calgary Tower, the Alberta and Manitoba legislatures, CN Tower, Niagara Falls, Byward Market in Ottawa and La Grande Roue de Montreal among others. Canadians are encouraged to participate by snapping a photo of the illuminated landmarks and sharing them on social media with the hashtag #IGNITEtheLight.

Island athletes preparing for the Paris Paralympics include 2020 Tokyo Paralympics gold-medallist runner Riech, 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games gold-medallist swimmer Bennett, veteran two-time 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Paralympics medallist Trevor Hirschfield of Parksville and 2023 Santiago Pan Am Paralympics silver-medallist Byron Green of Merville in wheelchair rugby, 2016 Rio Paralympics silver-medallist runner Liam Stanley of Victoria and 2023 Santiago Pan Am Paralympics silver-medallist runner Michael Barber of Victoria.

Pemble, who began cycling on the 1994 Commonwealth Games velodrome in Colwood, is readying to become a rare Winter and Summer Paralympian in Paris after representing sa国际传媒 in skiing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics, the latter a sport she picked up on Mount Washington.

The Paralympics traditionally take place in the same city following the Olympic Games. The 2024 Paris Olympics run July 26 to Aug. 11 and the Paris Paralympics Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

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