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Swimmer Benoit Huot named Canada’s chef de mission for Commonwealth Games

Former swim champion Benoit Huot has been named Canada’s chef de mission for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

Commonwealth Sport Canada made the announcement Tuesday on the two-year countdown to the Birmingham Games.

The 36-year-old from Longueuil, Que., won 20 medals over five Paralympic Games, from 2000 to 2016. He also won four medals at three Commonwealth Games (2002, 2006 and 2010).

Huot was Canada’s assistant chef de mission at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

“Being named chef for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is a huge honour, and I will do everything I can to ensure an inclusive and inspiring environment for our athletes,” Huot said in a statement.

“The Commonwealth Games have been a significant part of my high-performance journey, and I believe that their focus on inclusivity and diversity is of even more importance in the world that we live in today. I look forward to being part of these amazing Games, and hope to inspire our athletes and para-athletes to achieve their objectives in Birmingham in 2022.”

A member of the Order of Canada and Knight of the Order of Quebec, Huot’s honours include 2003 Commonwealth Games Federation Athlete of the Year With a Disability and Swimming World Magazine’s 2005 Para-swimmer of the Year.

Huot was Canada’s flag-bearer at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games.

“With his storied background as an athlete and his incredible energy and passion for sport, he is the perfect person to lead our team at the Birmingham Games,” Richard Powers, president of Commonwealth Sport Canada, said in a statement.

The 22nd Commonwealth Games are scheduled for July 28 to Aug. 8, 2022. Up to 4,500 athletes from 71 countries are expected to take in 19 sports and eight para-sports. For the first time, they will feature more women’s (135) than men’s (133) medal events.

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