Duncan’s Richard Peter has added a Parapan Am Games medal in wheelchair badminton to his athletic resume. (Joseph Yeung/BadmintonImages)

Vancouver Island athlete Richard Peter wins Parapan Am badminton bronze

Cowichan man adds to wheelchair basketball legacy

Richard Peter has added another international medal to his remarkable sports legacy.

Seven years after wrapping up an 18-year career with the national men’s wheelchair basketball team that included three Paralympic gold medals, Peter has won his first international medal in his second sport, wheelchair badminton.

A member of Cowichan Tribes who grew up in Duncan, Peter teamed up with New Brunswick’s Bernard Lapointe to win bronze in men’s doubles at the Parapan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

Peter and Lapointe lost 2-0 in their opening match last Thursday against the Brazilian team of Cano and Soares. Later that same day, they rebounded with a 2-0 win over the Peruvian duo of Roberth Fajardo and Ronald Miranda. In the semifinals on Friday, they lost to a different Brazilian pair, Conceicao and Godoy, again 2-0.

In the bronze-medal match last Friday, the Canadian duo prevailed 2-1 over the Chilean team of Jaime Aranguiz and Constancio Cancino. Peter and Lapointe dropped the first set 19-21, but pulled even with a 21-15 score in the second, and dominated the final set 21-11.

Peter is the two-time defending national champion in para badminton, which he took up after retiring from basketball at the age of 40. He made the national wheelchair basketball team in 1994 and represented Canada in five Paralympics between 1996 and 2012, winning gold in 2000, 2004 and 2012, and silver in 2008. He was inducted into the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame in 2009.

This was the first time that the Parapan Am Games included badminton. The Parapan Am Games were a qualifier for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, where para badminton will also make its Paralympic debut.

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