It’s one thing to take on the world as a trained Olympian. We know they’re the best of the best. But when someone with a disability competes at the same level, and prevails, it’s truly something to be admired. These proud men and women have gone through hell and back, and yet they push through to do the things they love.
CIBC had myself and another crew setup the welcome home party for 5paralympiand (1guide).
It was our job the first day to go spread word among the people of Canmore and to have them show up the following day for cookies and coffee/hot chocolate.
The next day we began setting up the celebrations and the whole time were being filmed for a viral video! It was all very exciting! I will add the link as soon as I get it. We set up all the banner station, picked up baked goods, and made sure everything was on schedule.
We were absolutely freezing and at one point was asked to come inside the branch to photograph the giant “welcome home!” Part! They looked so happy to be home… What we/they didn’t anticipate is we had a celebration for them outdoors by city hall, and we were not properly dressed, the athletes especially. So the poor guys froze their butts off after coming home from Sochi.
The athletes we welcomed home were:
Ian is originally from Auckland, New Zealand but has called canada home since 2002. He suffered a horrible back injury while snowboarding which resulted in a severed spinal cord and a mild head injury, he is now a standing paraplegic. Although Ian did not receive a medal, he did place 21st in the parasnowboard cross which is still amazing. Congrats to Ian! Welcome home!
Mark Arendz Originaly from PEI, mark suffered an injury during a farming accident resulting in the amputation of his left arm above the elbow. Most people cannot compete on a level like this while completely intact. For all your hard work you truly are an inspiration to people all over the world.
Mark came home from Sochi with not one but two medals! A bronze in men’s 12.5k standing biathalon, and a Silver in the men’s 7.5k standing biathalon.
Born in Germany, raised in Austria, Chris is no stranger to winter sports. Unfortunately he broke his back snowboarding in 2005. Once again nothing deterred him.
This year in Sochi he received gold in the paranordic skiing, 10k, sitting men’s. Way to go Chris!!
Erik Carleton (guide) Brian McKeever
Brian and Erik have been long time friends. Brian guided Erik through the course, and even though he fell, he got back up and still got gold in the visually impaired 20k cross country race. Again, you men are heroes among us.
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