Final Paralympic Update – Sept. 19, 2008
The Paralympics are officially over, and everyone is now on their way home. For the last update I have
put together two emails from John and Stacie sharing their feelings on the whole experience.
Wanted to send out a HUGE Thank you to everyone who was involved both directly and indirectly in our
campaign, all our sponsors and team mates David Cook and Brenda Hopkin.
It wouldn't of been possible without you all.
The event went really well for our team, all of us were ready and we delivered when we needed to.
Stacie was amazing throughout, she really came through for us and our coach Steve was rock solid. We
also had great support from Brian Todd and Craig Guthrie throughout the event. Two other people I
would like to recognize is our sport psych Colin Guthrie who helped keep my head together and our
physio Dinah Hampson who kept my body going.
It was truly a great experience which I will cherish forever.
It really hit home when we were up on the podium and I watched the Canadian flag flying for us! It was
at that point when the tears flowed and felt so very PROUD!
Qingdao was an amazing venue, with fantastic volunteers which we would of been lost without.
The past few days have been filled with celebration, sightseeing in Beijing and the spectacular closing
ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
The sailing ended with a podium experience that I will always remember. We approached the final day a
mere one point ahead of the Australians so the fight was on for Silver. The US had cinched Gold.
On the first of two races Australia had their best result of the week with both the speed and tactics to
finish first. Now the Aussies were two points ahead of us so we needed to gain three points in the next
race. After an even start, the Aussies beat us to the windward mark. However they fouled their
spinnaker hoist and we passed them downwind and to the leeward mark. Unfortunately we could not
hold our lane as they had awesome upwind speed they passed us on the next leg and to the finish.
While we were slightly disappointed in the final day, we were also jubilant to have medaled in one the
greatest sporting events in the world.
Once off the dock we were escorted to the medal ceremonies. It was here when it finally sunk in. This
was a very emotional experience. We felt such pride to stand on the podium and to be given a beautiful
bronze medal inset with jade. It felt like a dream.
My teammate John and I could not have made this journey or achieved this success without the support
and encouragement of so many people. This includes our coaches, teammates and training partners,
sponsors, friends, family and colleagues. Thank you all.