The Canadian Paralympic Committee has chosen one of the most decorated swimmers in Paralympic Games history as their chef de mission for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Stephanie Dixon will lead the Canadian Para delegation into both the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru and the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The role of Chef de Mission is both symbolic and functional. According to the Canadian Paralympic Committee: “Dixon will serve on the leadership team for the Canadian team with an aim of providing the athletes the best conditions to succeed and the best experience possible. She will also act as an official spokesperson for the team, promoting the Games, athletes, and Paralympic Movement as a whole.”
Dixon won 7 Paralympic gold medals and 20 total Paralympic medals as a swimmer at the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Paralympic Games. She is a member of the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Dixon was born without a right leg and hip, and began swimming lessons when she was 2. By the age of 14, she had made the Canadian National Team, and at 16 she made her Paralympic debut and won 5 gold medals and broke 3 World Records.
She currently serves as a motivational coach in Whitehorse, and in 2018 was appointed to the Order of Canada.
“I could not be more excited to be selected as chef de mission for the Lima 2019 ParaPan American Games and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” said Dixon. “I am passionate about ensuring our Canadian athletes have everything they need in order to give performances of a lifetime, have experiences they will never forget, and know that their entire country is behind them when they step onto the field of play.
“I will be our athletes’ biggest cheerleader and share their stories with our nation so that all Canadians will feel like they are a part of their journey. When we get behind our athletes, we can’t help but be inspired.”