Weapon: Wheelchair - Epee
Hand: Left-handed
Born: Saskatoon, SK
Residence: Saskatoon, SK
Club: SKA

It’s rare to see a world class athlete that truly embodies humility, much less a Paralympian who’s received multiple grants from the SPAE and Petro Canada’s FACE program and won the Pan-American Championships in two disciplines (Sao Paulo 2022,épée and sabre). Yet Ryan Roussel, born the middle child of parents Kevin and Laurie Roussel in Saskatoon, could not be a better avatar for that trait.

Ryan started fencing at 7 after seeing a demo at his local school in Asquith, Saskatchewan. Training alongside coach Douglas Brecht, who’s pushing matched Ryan’s own motivation to always be the best version of himself, this para-fencer was able to achieve his first of many international podiums at the Warsaw U23 World Championships, claiming a bronze in sabre. A rational person through and through, Ryan believed training 3 to 5 times a week and doing a lot of self-reflection were the best tools to perform, choosing to do away with the usual athlete superstitions. His belief that he is not unique also drove this consummate athlete to look at every opponent as a rival, and fight arduously regardless of circumstance and previous results, driving him to improve constantly. It’s easy to understand how this attitude can help Ryan in his day-to-day life working in the tech industry, where he specializes in hardware technology.

Despite all this, Ryan is a family man at heart, and cherishes nothing more than Christmas with his loved ones in his favourite place on Earth, the family farm in Asquith he calls home. Watching him work in the fields or help out with harvest, it’s easy to forget that you are looking at one of Canada’s foremost wheelchair fencers. One with the dream to one day win a Paralympic medal for Canada. And no one doubts his ability to do it.