Local Paralympians shine on world stage

Greater Trail Paralympians had a big weekend on the national and international stage.

Greater Trail Paralympians had a big weekend on the national and international stage.

While Trail native Mike Mondin was in Lloydminster announcing the Paralympic Sledge Hockey Team with Ron McLean, Rossland’s Kimberly Joines and Ian Lockey were skiing and boarding to strong finishes at World Cup events in the U.S.A.

Mondin joined CBC Hockey Night in Canada host McLean to announce the full roster for the sledge team that will compete in Sochi, Russia, Mar. 7-16. The announcement was made on an outdoor rink at the Alberta town’s winter festival as part of the celebration for Hockey Day in Canada that included the likes of Don Cherry, astronaut Chris Hadfield and many former NHLers for the full day of festivities and hockey on CBC.

Mondin also named veteran sledgers Adam Westlake captain, and Brad Bowden and Adam Dixon as assistant captains. The three led the Canadians to gold at the 2013 IPC World Championship in Korea last April.

“This is the leadership team we have had in place since 2011, and we have the utmost confidence in them leading our team into Sochi,” Mondin said in a release from Hockey Canada. “Greg, Brad and Adam have worn the Team Canada jersey with pride every time they have put it on, and have earned the right to wear a letter on the game’s biggest stage.”

Meanwhile Joines was flying down the mountain in Colorado winning silver in slalom and a bronze in giant slalom on Saturday. Joines is a sit-skier with more than 40 World Cup podium finishes.

The veteran said the results validate her decision to focus on slalom and giant slalom events this season.

“These latest results feel really good. I’ve been training hard and focusing all of my efforts on these two events,” Joines said in a Para-Alpine release. “In making that decision to specialize, I knew I’d have to produce consistently in (slalom and giant slalom) to make it worthwhile dropping some other events that I was also good at. So results like these are rewarding and help confirm that I made the right decision.”

In snowboard-cross, Rossland boarder Ian Lockey placed fifth and was the second fastest Canadian in a World Cup race at Copper Mountain, Col. Saturday.

Ontario boarder John Leslie took bronze in a pair of races on the weekend behind two Americans, Michael Shea and Evan Strong.  Lockey, however, would sit out the second day of races to nurse a sore ankle, while Tyler Mosher of Whistler was sixth and 12th in the respective races.  Despite the injury to Lockey, Team Canada coach Candice Drouin was impressed with the effort.

“I’m proud of our entire team,” she said in a Canada Snowboard release. “All the pre-season training has been effective and we are looking forward to racing some more.’’

The Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team will be in Calgary on Tuesday to receive official nomination to the Canadian Paralympic para-alpine team that will compete in Sochi in March. All of the athletes have met criteria to be nominated.