Vancouver Island athletes will be coming home with at least five medals from the 2012 London Paralympic Games, which conclude today.
Quadriplegic wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell from Nanoose Bay won gold in the women's 200 metres in the T52 class before claiming the silver in the 100-metre race. The 38-year-old Stilwell entered the competition as the world-record holder and defending Paralympic champion at both distances. When she won the 200 event, it was in a Parlympic record time of 33.80 seconds, just off her world mark of 33.58.
In the 100 final, Stilwell slipped on her first stroke at the starting line and she couldn't catch up to gold medallist Marike Vervoort from Belgium.
It is not the first time that she's slipped at the start of a race.
"It happens,'' Stilwell told the media after the race. "My left side is not my strong side, I'm more affected on my left side. I did the best I could, gave it everything I had. Silver is nothing to be disappointed at.''
Stilwell, who also owns the world record at 400 metres, won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games in wheelchair basketball.
The other two Island medals were silvers won by swimmer Brianna Nelson from Victoria. The 20-year-old Nelson was busy in the pool with eight events in eight days. She won her medals in the 50-metre butterfly and the 200 individual medley. Nelson placed sixth in Thursday's 400 freestyle with a personal best time of 5: 40.64.
"I'm really tired but otherwise OK,'' said Nelson in a statement.
"These Games have been a really great experience. There were results I didn't expect and others I wished I had done better but I'll definitely look back at the Games very fondly.''
Brian Hill from Duncan was seventh in the 100 backstroke and he didn't qualify for the final in the 100 butterfly. Victoria's Jana Murphy failed to advance to the finals in the 100 backstroke, 100 breastroke and the 200 freestyle.
The mixed wheelchair rugby team, with Trevor Hirschfield from Parksville, has a 2-1 record. Team Canada defeated Belgium 58-50, Sweden 53-52 and lost a 64-52 decision to Australia. Team Canada played Australia in today's final for gold.
Canada has a total of 30 medals - seven gold, 14 silver and nine bronze.
The final day of sailing was delayed and then cancelled on Thursday due to lack of wind. Victoria's Stacie Louttit and John McRoberts placed fourth in the two-person mixed boat.
"Obviously there's disappointment in coming fourth,'' said McRoberts in a statement.
"But to be honest, the other countries sailed better than we did. I'm still proud of where we finished. We ended up being the top Canadian sailing team in both the Olympics and Paralympics.''
"We did quite well considering we were in a very competitive fleet,'' said Louttit. "We knew it would be a challenge but we were up for it. We were solid and consistent. I am proud to be among the top group.''
Paul Tingley of Victoria was fifth in the single-person keel boat.
In the three-person keel boat, Logan Campbell of Saskatoon, Scott Lutes of Montreal and Victoria's Bruce Millar were 10th.
Rowers Meghan Montgomery of Victoria and Tony Theriault from Nanaimo won the B final In mixed coxed four.
In women's wheelchair basketball, with Victoria's Jessica Vliegenthart and former University of Victoria Vike Janet McLachlan, the team had a 3-1 preliminary round record before dropping a 67-55 decision to the United States in the quarterfinals. McLachlan had a teamhigh 31 points for Canada.
Tim Rees from Victoria lost his preliminary judo match to Joe Ingram from Great Britain and was eliminated.
Doug Ripley from Powell River and his Team Canada goalball mates were 1-3 in the preliminary round and failed to advance to the quarter-finals.
Canada lost to Belgium, Algeria and China while defeating Korea.
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