By Elio Elia
The Wheelchair Basketball World Championships are coming to Ottawa.
An A-list group of speakers including Ottawa mayor Jim Watson, Ontario Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod and Paralympians Patrick Anderson, Cindy Ouellet and Sen. Chantal Peticlerc announced on Thursday that the nation’s capital will host the event in 2026.
“As a proud Canadian and decorated Paralympic champion, I am delighted to serve as the honorary chair for Ottawa 2026 and bolster Canada’s reputation as a leading sporting nation by hosting the greatest world championships of all-time,” Peticlerc said.
“The organizing committee looks forward to delivering an unforgettable, emotionally-charged experience for athletes, stakeholders and spectators while spearheading the evolution of the game in Canada and around the world.”
Twenty-eight teams will compete at the championships, which will make it the largest-ever team sporting event for elite-level athletes with physical disabilities. Around 20 different countries will participate, with 16 teams playing in the men’s division and 12 competing in the women’s tournament.
The event will also be the first of its size in Canada to include championships for both men and women.
The championships will be held inside TD Place Arena at Lansdowne Park, with Carleton University and the University of Ottawa providing additional courts. A total of 94 games will be played over a week-and-a-half period spanning late-August to early-September 2026.
“I am very excited that Ottawa will host the IWBF (International Wheelchair Basketball Federation) Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in 2026, bringing the best talent from around the world to the nation’s capital,” said mayor Watson, who emphasized the importance of recognizing Dec. 3 in Ottawa as “International Day of Persons with Disabilities.”
Wheelchair Basketball Canada president Steve Bach promised that Ottawa will host an “unparalleled, world-class event.”