Para-Snowboarding at its finest

Athletes with physical disabilities from around the world meet for two World Cup races

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(Lake Louise, AB – April 07, 2011) Canada~Snowboard and the World Snowboard Federation (WSF) are pleased to co-host the last two Para-snowboard World Cup events of 2011 this week in Lake Louise, Alberta.

A total of 35 athletes from nine nations – Italy, Spain, New-Zealand, United States, France, Netherlands, Great Britain, Belarus and Canada – will be competing in the last two Cup races of the season, on a modified version of the snowboard cross course used by the Canada~Snowboard Nationals.

The hosting of the events in Lake Louise is a crucial step in the inclusion of the sport into the Paralympic Games program. The sport is currently being organized internationally by the World Snowboard Federation (WSF). The final decision will be rendered in October of 2011.

“It’s an opportunity for the WSF and Canada~Snowboard to deliver an exceptional event, meeting world-class standards, and to show that this sport is ready for the 2014 Paralympic Games. We have a large pool of international athletes with nine different nations represented,” said Dustin Heise, director of sport development for Canada~Snowboard.

“It’s also an opportunity for Canada~Snowboard to showcase the sport to other athletes that may be unaware of these athletes who have a disability. We can shine a light on para-snowboarding, and that there is a pathway to snowboarder whether you have a disability or not, and the level of availability,” continued Dustin.

The group of passionate international riders met in France earlier this winter for two World Cup races, as well as at the X-Games.

The Canadian program, in its fifth year of existence, is led by Candice Drouin, an alumnus of the Canadian Snowboard Team. Currently, there are four members on the national team: Ian Lockey of Rossland, BC, Mike Fisher of Vancouver, BC, Tyler Mosher of Whistler, BC and Zach Beaumont of Tsawwassen, BC.