Andrew Todd, a bio technology and bio chemistry graduate of the Faculty of Engineering, to represent Canada at 2016 Paralympic Games
Andrew Todd and his teammates are fixing their gaze on the gold as they head to Brazil for the 2016 Paralympic Games. However, the road that first began for the young rower at the Ottawa Rowing Club back in 2007 has been anything but easy. In 2013, he was undergoing training to compete for a spot on the Canadian men’s lightweight fours rowing team after accepting a tryout invitation from Rowing Canada. In May of that year, however, during a cycling drill, Andrew suffered a serious road accident that left him with a broken pelvis, several leg fractures and severe road rash. Andrew faced 28 months of recuperation that resulted in a serious loss of power in his right leg and knee. His hopes of joining the Canadian men’s team were dashed. However, rather than dwelling on what could’ve been, Andrew found a new direction within the sport of rowing.
During his recovery, Andrew still kept the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics in sight, but acknowledged that his future would have to be in adaptive rowing. For the next couple of years while studying part-time, undergoing follow-up surgeries and staying in convalescent care, he dipped his toes into the world of competitive rowing for para athletes. It wasn’t until 2015 that Andrew could train as an athlete full-time. Today, he races for Canada on the leg, trunk, and arms mixed coxed fours boat team (LTA4+), which has enjoyed a successful qualifying season for the Paralympic Games. Andrew and his team placed third at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in France. This past June at the World Rowing Cup in Poland, they placed first, beating out teams from around the world.
Back in January of this year, Andrew was honoured with the athletic achievement award at the 63rd Ottawa Sports Awards dinner. The team’s competitive drive is now at an all-time high as they get closer to competing on one of the biggest stages for sports. The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games are set to begin on September 7.