|03-12-2009, 08:43 AM||#1|
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PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES: SIX CANADIANS TO WATCH
March 12, 2009
EVENT Wheelchair curling
HOMETOWN Richmond, B.C.
PARALYMPIC EXPERIENCE First Paralympic Games for the new world champion.
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The number of years between giving up curling because of knee and back problems (2001) and discovering the wheelchair game (2007).
THE QUOTE "We are the defending champions from 2006. When you're dealing with curling, and talking Canada, it's like saying you're a hockey player. I'd say you're looking at disappointment if you're not looking at a gold medal. I call wheelchair curling the 'roller derby' of the sport. We don't have the big weight-hits or the sweeping. It's much more interesting, strategically. The able-bodied game is so sterile, with the perfect rocks and the players so good ... they had to change the rules to make it interesting."
EVENT Sledge hockey
PARALYMPIC EXPERIENCE Sledge hockey: Fourth at Salt Lake City, 2002; gold at Turin, 2006.
Rosen's age when his right leg shattered into 14 pieces while playing Triple-A hockey as a youth. He subsequently lost the leg because of infections.
THE QUOTE "I had a discussion with my wife, Cheryl. I said, 'I want to do something that nobody else has done, and that's to play at the highest level with this team, at this age.' All the players start in their teens and 20s. Nobody starts at 40. ... I started training two hours a day, every day. I had able-bodied players shoot on me until I was exhausted. ... People told me I was crazy. I was happy just to be alive."
EVENT Alpine skiing (standing)
PARALYMPIC EXPERIENCE Gold in super giant slalom, gold in slalom, bronze in giant slalom at Salt Lake City, 2002; gold in giant slalom, silver in super G at Turin, 2006.
Age at which Woolstencroft, who was born with no legs below the knee and no arm below the left elbow, took up skiing. Before that, she'd been determined to race horses.
THE QUOTE "The team is so different now [from when she started in 1998]. We used to tune our own skis and wear hand-me-down suits and race on outdated equipment. Today, we are on snow in the summer and up to 40 days before the World Cup season. ... We're fortunate to have the opportunity to utilize so many resources that never existed before."
EVENT Alpine skiing (sit-ski)
HOMETOWN Rossland, B.C.
PARALYMPIC EXPERIENCE Bronze in super G at Turin, 2006.
Joines's age when she crashed while snowboarding off a 12-metre jump in 2003, leaving her a paraplegic.
After the accident, the number of years it took Joines to finish third in super G at the world championships at Wildschonau, Austria, becoming Alpine Canada's "breakthrough athlete" of 2004.
THE QUOTE "If it isn't working out, it just isn't finished yet." That is Joines's motto. She promotes her sport by motivating newly injured individuals to get involved in disabled sport. She is very active in Rick Hansen's Wheels in Motion and the Children's Wheel Ability Camp, just to name a few. She is also involved in wheelchair basketball and road racing and represented Canada at the 2004 Athens Games.
EVENT Alpine skiing (visually impaired)
HOMETOWN Markham, Ont.
PARALYMPIC EXPERIENCE Gold in super G at Salt Lake City, 2002; silver in downhill, bronze in super G at Turin, 2006.
The speed in kilometres an hour at which guide skier Nick Brush has taken Williamson through a downhill course.
THE QUOTE "It [winning the super G world championship last month] gives me the one title that I had never won before. This medal finally completes my collection. I'm looking forward to the World Cup finals at Whistler. ... It was great for Canada to get four medals at the worlds but [for Canadians] to win three world champion titles is fabulous. It shows that we are definitely on track for 2010."
EVENT Cross-country skiing (visually impaired)
HOMETOWN Canmore, Alta.
PARALYMPIC EXPERIENCE Gold in five kilometre and 10 km, silver in 20 km at Salt Lake City, 2002; gold in five km and 10 km and silver in 20 km at Turin, 2006. Has also competed in able-bodied World Cup races.
With brother Robin McKeever as his guide, won Canada's first medal, a gold, in the five-km event at Salt Lake City.
THE QUOTE "I'm happy about it [disabled athletes Oscar Pistorius and Marla Runyan pushing to be in summer's able-bodied Olympics]. For the Paralympic sports, it shows there's a point to it. It's not a sideshow any more. It's a competition. It's become more credible. To earn a spot on the Olympic team would be a tremendous accomplishment, and that's what I want."
|canadians, games, paralympic, watch, winter|