With qualifying berths at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio on the line in many events, every athlete is looking to make a huge impact. Here's what we think are the most exciting Canadian storylines that Parapan Am Toronto 2015 has to offer.
PARAPAN AM GAMES at various venues, August 7 to 15. toronto2015.org.
An arch-rivalry renewed
Picture two co-ed teams in Mad Max-style wheelchairs of gnarled and twisted metal smashing the living shit out of each other as they struggle to wheel a ball over a goal line.
Canada and the U.S. are heavy favourites for the gold medal, with the winner being able to punch an early ticket to Rio.
Team Canada's Zak Madell, undoubtedly the best player in the game today, is a big reason for Canada's victory at the 2014 wheelchair rugby world championships in Odense, Denmark, and why the U.S. is desperate for revenge.
Catch him in action at the Mississauga Sports Centre, August 8 to 14.
It's do or die for Canada's men and women
If Canada's wheelchair basketball teams want a Paralympic berth, they have to medal at Parapan Am. The men need to appear in the final, while the women have to finish in the top three.
The women are defending world champions, the guys the defending Paralympic gold medallists. The U.S. is waiting to dash their qualifying hopes, along with Colombia on the men's side and Brazil on the women's.
The Canadian women have one of the world's top offensive players in co-captain Janet McLachlan, and the men bring a commanding physical presence in co-captain David Eng. Medal games at the Ryerson Athletic Centre are scheduled for August 14 and 15.
The final lap for the "para-Michael Phelps"
Longueuil, Quebec's Benoît Huot, one of Canada's most decorated para-swimmers, starts his farewell tour in Toronto, culminating with an appearance in 2016's Paralympic Games, which he says will be his last.
The four-time Paralympian has won nine gold medals, and he produced three medals (two silver and one bronze) at the recent IPC Swimming World Championships, bringing his lifetime world championship medal count to 32.
Be there poolside at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House when he competes in the men's S10 100-metre individual medley, 100-metre backstroke and 400-metre freestyle, August 8 to 14.
Dark horse potential for a Toronto native
Wheelchair tennis is a constant back and forth between the power motion of pushing the wheelchair and the sudden relaxation needed to accurately strike the ball. Not to mention you have to propel your chair and hold the racket at the same time.
Though the gold medal is almost certainly going to the top-seeded player, Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez, the home fires make Canadian national champion Joel Dembe and teammate and doubles partner Philippe Bedard dark-horse candidates for the podium.
Cheer them on along with female players Mika Ishikawa and Yuka Chokyu at the U of T Scarborough Tennis Centre, August 8 to 14 .