Team Canada at the 2023 World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia © Courtesy of Canadian Transplant Association
They came, they competed, and they conquered! Team Canada emerged triumphant from the 2023 World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia, leaving a trail of awe-inspiring victories in their wake. With an impressive haul of 59 medals adorning their necks, including a staggering 21 gold, 18 silver, and 20 bronze, these remarkable athletes showcased their indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication.
The stage was set for an extraordinary event as the World Transplant Games returned for the first time since the world was turned upside down by the pandemic. More than 1500 athletes from 45 countries converged in Perth to celebrate life, resilience, and the incredible power of organ transplantation. Among them stood Team Canada, a small yet fiercely determined squad of 21 athletes, each with a unique connection to the transplant community.
Team Canada was competing in a variety of sports, ranging from pétanque, lawn-bowling, track events, and swimming. Swimming is where Canada excels on the world stage, which was evident by the number of World Records they broke, some their own.
But medals and records weren’t the only accolades Team Canada secured. The world took notice of their exceptional achievements, honouring them with three distinguished awards. The titles of Male Athlete of the Year, Female Donor Athlete of the Year, and Female Donor Family Athlete of the Year were bestowed upon these exceptional individuals, reflecting their unwavering commitment, remarkable talent, and the profound impact they have made as ambassadors for organ donation.
Behind their awe-inspiring triumphs stands the Canadian Transplant Association (CTA), a beacon of hope and support for transplant recipients and their families. As a volunteer-led charitable organization, the CTA has tirelessly worked to improve the health outcomes of transplant recipients and promote the message of post-transplant healthy living. Their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts have forged a vibrant and inclusive community nationwide.
The CTA is the non-profit organization that works with the World Games Federation guidelines and our community members to host our national games and help train athletes for the world events every second summer. The summer games will return to Canada in Ottawa in August 2024, the first time in that city and the first games the CTA will host since they were shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic.
This historic occasion will mark a joyous homecoming for the CTA and transplant athletes worldwide. With its majestic landmarks and vibrant energy, Ottawa is set to provide the perfect backdrop for a celebration of life, unity, and unparalleled sporting prowess.
From the ages of four to 80, athletes with a healthy graft of more than one year will converge upon Ottawa to showcase their courage, athleticism, and unwavering determination. The Games will embrace inclusivity and offer a platform for every individual, regardless of background or circumstance, to unleash their inner champion. Stay tuned for further details on this extraordinary event that promises to captivate hearts and minds.
Since 1987, the CTA has united volunteers nationwide to advocate for the benefits of organ donation. With a focus on transplant recipients, donor families, living donors, and their loved ones, our community continues to grow stronger after almost 35 years. We collaborate with healthcare providers and advocacy groups, prioritizing the health and wellness of transplant patients. As the sole post-transplant community-focused organization in the country, the CTA ensures representation across regions.
In 2021, we transitioned to a no-cost membership model, valuing inclusivity and accessibility. Regardless of age, income, or involvement in the transplant community, anyone can register for a free annual CTA membership. Our members actively participate in events supporting organ donation awareness, such as the Canadian and World Transplant Games, National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, Green Shirt Day, and local activities like Transplant Trots. Our members gain exclusive access to transplant-related seminars, celebrations, research, and valuable lifestyle tips.
The Canadian Transplant Association (CTA), is a 100% volunteer led registered charitable organization founded in 1987. Our community shares a unique bond and includes transplant recipients, candidates on transplant wait lists, donor families, living donors, families, friends, and health care professionals.