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New West goalballer Doug Ripley scores bronze at 2023 Parapan Am Games

It's the New West Paralympian's fourth international medal with Canada's men's national goalball team.

A New Westminster Paralympian rose to the occasion once more on the goalball floor.

Doug Ripley stood tall on defense and found the back of the net on Friday, Nov. 24, to lift Canada's national men's team to a bronze medal at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

And the 6-2 victory over Argentina came nine days after celebrating his 50th birthday.

Ripley scored Canada's 4-1 marker just over four minutes into the second half, threw 17 shots on net and recorded eight blocks.

In total, he tallied five goals and blocked 35 shots from opponents at the biquadriennial tournament.

The Canadians' game-by-game results were as follows:

  • 6-2 win over Argentina (bronze-medal match)
    • Ripley: One goal, eight blocks
  • 11-4 loss to the United States (semifinal)
  • 9-1 win over Chile (quarterfinal)
    • Ripley: Three goals, 17 blocks
  • 5-4 loss to Argentina
  • 11-1 win over Venezuela
    • Ripley: One goal, 10 blocks
  • 9-2 loss to the United States

Ripley's leadership and efforts helped Canada match its medal from the 2019 Parapan American Games, which he was also a part of in Lima, Peru.

The veteran goalballer has two other international medals to his name since first competing for Canadian men's goalball team in 2010.

He won a bronze at the 2011 International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Games and gold at the 2013 IBSA Pan Am Championships.

Ripley also donned the maple leaf at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics. He started playing competitive goalball in 2003 after dedicating his athletic career to running in 400 m races.

What is goalball?

Goalball was invented in the late 1940s as a way to rehabilitate WWII veterans who had lost their sight.

While it's first preference was for those who are blind or vision impaired, it's since opened to fully sighted athletes as players wear opaque eyeshades at all times ensuring fair competition.

The game's objective is to score on the opponent and block their throws throughout two 12-minute halves. Each team has six players with three competing on the floor during a contest.

Ripley has juvenile macular degeneration, according to his Canadian Paralympic Committee profile, which means he's unable to make out details in his central vision.