Snowboarders looking forward to competing for the first time at the Paralympic Games
Vancouver, BC – July 25, 2013
Canada Snowboard has named four athletes to its 2014 Para National Team. The athletes will make history by competing in the first ever snowboard event at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The sport was officially added to the 2014 Paralympics Games in May 2012 after years of effort on the part of Canada Snowboard and the rest of the snowboarding community.
“We are honored to have been part of it from the very beginning,” said Dustin Heise, Sport Development Director at Canada Snowboard. “Over the years we have seen so many athletes realize their dreams by participating in World Cups, X-Games and other great competitions. However the Paralympics were always the ultimate goal and without the support of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and other international partners this would never have become a reality for our athletes. The chance to compete in Sochi in front of the world is once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The team will be lead by 2009 Para Snowboard World Champion Tyler Mosher, who made a previous appearance at the Paralympics as a Cross-Country skier before concentrating solely on snowboarding.
“After you’ve had a spinal cord injury snowboarding it’s a dream come true to learn to walk again and then help develop the sport to the point where it is part the Paralympic games,” said Mosher, “It’s a blessing to still be young enough to compete but better still to compete at the level where you can come back with a gold medal. It is truly an honor and I feel very lucky to be able to represent my country.”
New on the team is rookie Michelle Salt of Calgary, AB. Salt was involved in a nearly fatal motorcycle crash only two years ago; she underwent numerous surgeries including the amputation of her right leg. Her accident did not stop her from getting back on her board as soon as she could and two weeks after her accident she was on the phone with current National Team coach Candice Drouin to make it a reality.
“It is amazing to see how sport can have such a huge impact in a person’s life after such a traumatic injury,” said Drouin, “When I spoke to Michelle I could hear the determination in her voice. She set a goal, to make the National Para Team, while she was still in the hospital and I am not surprise she achieved it so quickly. She is a great addition to the team. ”
John Leslie from Armprior, ON and Ian Lockey from Trail, BC are rounding out the team.
“I know that the athletes nominated to the team have been working extremely hard to get to where they are. They have always represented Canada and the sport of snowboarding extremely well. With the hard work and dedication that they have been putting in over the years, especially this summer, each one of them is physically and mentally at their best. I know that we will see great results because of this,” added Heise.
The Paralympic Games will be held from March 7 to 16, 2014.
2014 CANADIAN PARA SNOWBOARD TEAM
Ian Lockey (Trail, BC)
John Leslie (Armprior, ON)
Tyler Mosher (Whistler, BC)
Michelle Salt (Calgary, AB)
For more information, or to schedule an interview with any members of the Canada Snowboard National Teams or coaches, contact Media Relations Manager Nadia M’Seffar at: email@example.com
ABOUT CANADA SNOWBOARD
Canada Snowboard (Canadian Snowboard Federation) is the national governing body for snowboarding in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners like The Canadian Tire Corporation, Under Armour and Mazda Canada, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee; Canada Snowboard is committed to high performance excellence in FIS World Cup, World Championships, World Snowboard Tour and Olympic Winter Games competition. Canada Snowboard also provides a wide range of programs and support services based on established principles of long-term athlete development. For more information on the services and programs offered by Canada Snowboard, visit: www.canadasnowboard.ca