Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Paralympics’ Category

Portraits of the Paralympics: Chris Williamson

A gold-medal Paralympian, Chris Williamson is one of the best para-alpine skiers in the world, which isn’t surprising considering his family history. In the 1968 Winter Olympics, his father, Peter, represented Canada in speed skating, and his brother, Tyler Derraugh, is also a world class speed skater. So, it’s no wonder that Chris delved into sports at an early age. Although he too was serious about speed skating, even competing in the 1987 Canada Winter Games, skiing became a passion of his at age three. “Even though I’m a disabled person, my parents encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do. They didn’t cushion me or worry that my disability would affect me at all.” Read more

Portraits of the Paralympics: Matt Hallat

Sochi is Matt Hallat’s third Paralympic Games with the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team. Losing his right leg through to the knee to Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, just before turning six, Matt is the embodiment of perseverance. After all, age six was when he first took up skiing. Now, he wants to pass his sense of resolve onto the next generation. Going into its second year, Matt’s Redefining Limits Camp gives young para-athletes the chance to explore their skiing skills. “In Para-Alpine skiing, there isn’t really a feeder program. In other sports, you start when you’re five years old, and as you get older, you go up with people who are your age, and you get better and better and better; all these things are introduced to you slowly over time. In para-alpine skiing, because of the nature of it, we don’t have that many people, and therefore there aren’t those sorts of programs. As such, young people who are identified as having some talent, very quickly get put onto a national development team.” Read more

Portraits of the Paralympics: Kimberly Joines

As one the world’s best sit-skiers, Kimberly Joines has placed first in many International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup events, and in the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Torino, she took home the bronze for the Super-G. Currently pursuing gold in Sochi, Kimberly is driven by her love of the mountains, mountain culture, and athleticism in general. Even after sustaining a spinal cord injury while snowboarding that left her paralyzed from the waist down, she quickly took up sit-skiing, which as she says, “…opened some amazing doors to me and allowed me to pursue athletics probably at a more competitive level than I ever would have able-bodied.” Read more