When Zak Madell was 10, he lost his fingers and legs to a septic staph infection. After his recovery, Madell first got involved in sledge hockey, but he...
- Birth DateMarch 28, 1994
- HometownOkotoks, AB
- ClubAlberta Roughnecks
- Member Since2011
When Zak Madell was 10, he lost his fingers and legs to a septic staph infection. After his recovery, Madell first got involved in sledge hockey, but he was unable to hold the stick well enough to play at a high level. Next, he was introduced to wheelchair basketball, which appealed to his competitive nature and his love of speed. Finally, he was recruited to wheelchair rugby in 2011 and has experienced a meteoric rise in the sport ever since.
Despite having played for just over a year, he earned a spot on the team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The coaching staff originally intended to give Madell only limited playing time, but he consistently performed above expectations and handled the pressure of the Paralympics with a smile on his face. His performance was the wild card that lifted Canada to victory in its semi-final upset of the number one-ranked American team.
In just four short years, “The Kid” has established himself as one of the best wheelchair rugby players in the world. He was named MVP of the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Odense, Denmark, the 2014 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament, and the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge. His biggest honor came when he was named Team Canada’s flagbearer of the Closing Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, after leading the team to its first gold medal in 13 years.
Following a fourth-place team finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Zak took some time away from the National Team spotlight to focus on his university studies earning a Diploma in Architectural Technology. He has since returned and looks to lead Team Canada; Zak finished second in tournament scoring at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, averaging over 26 Tries per Game (4 games).
- Silver medalist at the 2022 WWR Americas Championship
- 5th Place at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games
- Silver medalist at the 2019 Lima Parapan Am Games
- Gold medalist at the 2019 National Championships Powered by Vesco
- Gold medalist at the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby Games
- Gold medalist at the 2015 Toronto Parapan Am Games
- Silver medalist at the 2014 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship
- Silver medalist at the 2012 London Paralympic Games