Wheelchair curler Ina Forrest has been elected to the Canadian Paralympic Athletes’ Council ©Getty Images

Wheelchair curler Ina Forrest and wheelchair rugby player Mike Whitehead have been elected to the Canadian Paralympic Athletes' Council.

Forrest is a two-time Paralympic champion from Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, and a Pyeongchang 2018 bronze medallist. 

"Thank you to my fellow athletes for putting their trust in me," Forrest said. 

"I am looking forward to joining and contributing to the Athletes' Council after many years of experiencing the success of the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and the Athletes' Council in representing and supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes."

Whitehead is one of the longest-serving Canadian wheelchair rugby players, having competed at the last four summer Paralympic Games, winning two silver medals and one bronze. 

"Having the honour and privilege to be a part of the Athletes' Council is exciting and humbling," he said. 

"Thank you to all the athletes who voted, and I can't wait to get started working alongside my fellow Council members."

Forrest and Whitehead are replacing Para-Alpine skier Kirk Schornstein and Para-cyclist Ross Wilson.

They join Para-ice hockey player Rob Armstrong, Para-athlete Jennifer Brown, boccia player Alison Levine and Para-judoka and chair Tony Walby, all of whom are halfway through their four-year terms.

Erica Gavel was also re-elected for a second term. 

A Rio 2016 Paralympian, Gavel helped the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team to a gold medal last year at the Parapan Am Games in Lima.

Wheelchair rugby player Mike Whitehead has been elected to the Canadian Paralympic Athletes’ Council ©Getty Images
Wheelchair rugby player Mike Whitehead has been elected to the Canadian Paralympic Athletes’ Council ©Getty Images

"I am elated to be selected to the Athletes' Council once again and thank the people who selected me," said Gavel. 

"To be a part of the Council is a tremendous honour and privilege, and I am so grateful to be involved for another four years. 

"I am really proud of the relationship between the Athletes’ Council, CPC administrative staff, and respective stakeholders. 

"To have a strong Council is pertinent when making decisions as they directly impact the athletes. 

"I look forward to helping improve the quality of sporting experiences for Para sport athletes in Canada."

Gavel is additionally a member of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation Athlete Steering Committee.

Voting for the Athletes' Council took place over the past month, with eligible athletes - anyone who competed in the last four Summer or Winter Paralympic Games in 2018, 2016, 2014, and 2012 - voting to select their new representatives. 

Elections take place every two years, with terms lasting four years. 

"We are excited to welcome Ina and Mike, as well as welcome back Erica, to the Council and look forward to starting our work with them," said Walby.

"The Paralympic Movement in Canada is filled with so many superb athletes, and all three incoming Council members are experienced athletes who bring valued perspectives and ideas to the table. 

"We would also like to thank Kirk and Ross for their commitment and contribution to the Council over the last four years. 

"They have been incredible teammates and we know they will continue to be active voices for the Paralympic community in Canada."