Rossland’s Kimberly Joines skied to a silver medal in this race at the Para-Alpine World Cup in Copper Mountain

Rossland’s Kimberly Joines skied to a silver medal in this race at the Para-Alpine World Cup in Copper Mountain

Paralympian Joines going for gold

Rossland's Kimberly Joiness will navigates the slopes of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia next month.

Kimberly Joines is looking for a measure of redemption when she navigates the slopes at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia next month.

The 33-year-old Rossland sit-skier has been a member of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team for 11 years, with  over 40 World Cup medals, a 2008 World Cup championship, and a bronze medal at the 2006 Paralympics in Torino, Italy to her credit, but it was missing an opportunity to ski at the Vancouver-Whistler Games in 2010 that really vexes her.

“I am looking for just a little bit of redemption,” said Joines. “Both from the fact that my 2010 experience was non-existent given my injuries, and then last year in Sochi spent a week in a Russian hospital, so yeah redemption, getting to actually compete, getting to compete well, and shine at the events that I’m working hard at, and getting on the podium in a higher position than I did on my only Paralympic podium in Torino.”

Joines was a virtual rookie when she captured bronze in Torino in ‘06, but since then she has been plagued by injuries including a broken hip that sidelined her for the 2010 Games and all of the next season, and shoulder injuries at the World Cup finals in Sochi last year.

Since losing the use of her legs in a snowboarding accident in 2000, the Edmonton native has stoically persevered, emerging seemingly better-than-ever after each injury and setback.

During her comeback season of 2011-12, Joines won gold in her first race and went on to finish second overall in GS World Cup standings.

And aside from a tweaked shoulder suffered in a near wipeout on her way to silver at Copper Mountain earlier this month, Joines has enjoyed relative good health the past year capped by two silver and two bronze medals at the 2013 World Championships in La Molina, Spain in February.

“Other than the little shoulder tweak, I’m feeling really good,” she said. “I just have to maybe take it easy at the next camp.”

The team will continue to train, however, unlike non-Paralympic years will do so with  caution in preparation for the big event.

“In a Paralympic year we change how we approach things. We don’t go to all the events, so we are opting not to go to a couple events that I would have raced at . . . I’ll scale it back a little bit, but at the same time I need to train in that mode where I’m pushing, pushing, pushing, because if I do want gold, I know I have to attack top to bottom.”

In her quest for gold, Joines chose to focus on the technical events this year, concentrating on the slalom and giant slalom rather than the downhill speed races.

“I use to do all five events, but it’s down to two so it’s definitely a lot less opportunity, but within those events, I mean slalom I feel super confident, and have extreme podium-potential, but GS (giant slalom) I wasn’t quite sure, and for the way my category is across the board it’s super tight in that event, anybody can take it on a given day.”

Still, Joines managed to ski to a silver and a bronze in the GS at World Cup races in Panorama and Copper Mountain earlier this month, and another silver in the slalom. She medalled in every NorAm and World Cup race this season and will look to carry that momentum into Sochi.

“I have some nerves but I’ve always been the high-level athlete that performs at go time . . . so I guess it comes naturally to me to step-up on game day.”

The Sochi Olympics has been accompanied by security concerns and a controversial LGBT policy, but the politics doesn’t distract Joines who intends to stay focused on the business at hand.

“Maybe it’s naive of me just to expect that it’s all going to be smooth when I get there and you roll with the punches if it’s not . . . I just always assume that there’s a van waiting for me when I get there and a hotel room booked for me . . . so when it comes to security and all that I just don’t even think about it.”

In Sochi, Joines will race in her best event, the slalom, on Mar. 14, followed by the giant slalom two days later. While she can’t wait to go-for-gold in her two slalom races, the veteran national team member is determined to take time to savour the full Paralympic experience.

“In a games year, whether intentionally or not . . . we do it for something bigger than ourselves, we do it for Canada,” Joines writes in her blog. “We represent our country on the World stage, and ‘they’ are watching, cheering, and sharing the experience with us.

“Distractions aside, it’s amazing to have the opportunity to celebrate being a part of the ‘bigger’ picture, and something that I for one will not let pass me by without enjoying the ride.”

The Paralympic Games goes Mar. 7-16 in Sochi. Follow Joines on her blog at or on twitter @9livesjoines.

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read