Marcoux overcomes radio malfunction with sheer determination
SOCHI, Russia, March 9, 2014 /CNW/ - Visually impaired skier Mac
Marcoux, guided by Robin Fémy, gave a whole new meaning to skiing blind
by earning his second bronze medal of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter
Games on Sunday in men's super-G despite not being able to communicate
with his guide, while teammate Caleb Brousseau won bronze in the
sitting category - the first Paralympic medal of his career.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.'s Marcoux, who kicked off Canada's medal count in
Sochi with a bronze in men's downhill on Saturday, was ready to push
out of the start gate when he realized his radio headset - on which he
relies to communicate with guide Fémy - had stopped working. With no
central vision and only six per cent peripheral vision, Marcoux
attempted to hear cues from Fémy, sking ahead, who tried his best to
Unable to hear Fémy while travelling at more than 100 kilometres per
hour, Marcoux, 16, demonstrated incredible composure and pushed through
his run using instinct and what little vision he has to earn bronze.
Marcoux was just nine-hundredths of a second off of the gold medal
"When I realized what happened with the radios it was a little bit
scary, but I got it together and just did the best I could in the
situation," said Marcoux, who finished with a time of one minute, 20.77
seconds. "I'm super happy it worked out. Bronze like this? I can't
Fémy said he felt an extra sense of responsibility when the radios
"I've never yelled so hard in my life," he said. "We had to stay as
tight as we could and just have the best run possible. We train for
this kind of thing, but for Mac to keep his composure and ski to bronze
in this situation is incredible. I'm so impressed."
With less than ten-hundredths of a second separating the gold and bronze
medal winners in super-G, Marcoux said he feels hungrier than ever to
go for gold in his three remaining events and hear the Canadian anthem
"It's a little bittersweet knowing I was so close, but it makes me feel
ready to give 'er in the next races," he said.
Slovakia's Jakub Krako won the men's visually impaired division
(1:20.58), while Mark Bathum of the United States claimed silver
Caleb Brousseau, of Terrace, B.C., also earned bronze (1:22.05),
realizing a Paralympic dream that was sparked by watching the Vancouver
"My mind is just blown right now," he said after the race. "My heart is
hardly staying inside of my chest cavity. This is absolutely amazing
and I'm stoked to have ramped things up this hard. I can't wait to step
on the podium."
Brousseau, who was the ninth racer out of the gate in the sitting
category, faced a nerve-wracking wait in the leader box as he watched
more than two-thirds of the field try unsuccessfully to reach the
"I'm amazed that I still have skin on my fingers! I was so nervous
watching everyone coming down," he said of winning his first Paralympic
medal. "This result makes me feel really good about my skiing. I think
it really sets me up to push things even further. There's so much our
team can do on this hill."
Josh Dueck, of Kimberley, B.C., who won silver in Saturday's men's
downhill, was poised for gold for the second day in a row when a
lightening-fast run ended with a heart-wrenching crash at the final
gate. Dueck posted split times equal to the gold medal finisher Akira
Kano of Japan (1:19.51), but he caught an edge just before the finish
"It was actually fantastic," said Dueck of his skiing. "I was one turn
away from having a great run. You've got to be happy with that. Right
now I'm really happy for our team.
"Obviously I left something behind on the hill today, and I'd like to
find it," he added of getting ready to race super combined on Tuesday.
"Heck yes, I'm ready."
The silver medal in the men's sitting category went to Taiki Morii of
Calgary, Alta.'s Kurt Oatway was ninth in the men's sitting division
with a time of 1:29.10, and Kirk Schornstein, of Spruce Grove, Alta.
Was 13th in the men's standing category (1:27.83). Standing skiers Matt
Hallat, from Coquitlam, B.C., and Braydon Luscombe, of Duncan, B.C.,
did not finish their runs.
Next up is Monday's women's super-G, which will feature standing skiers
Alexandra Starker and Alana Ramsay, both of Calgary, Alta., and Erin
Latimer, from Etobicoke, Ont.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Media are invited to visit photos.paralympic.ca and create an account to be able to download high-resolution photos of
Canadian Paralympic athletes at any time, at no cost.
For full information about Team Canada at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic
Games, please visit paralympic.ca/team-canada.
SOURCE: Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
For further information:
Media attaché, para-alpine
SOCHI cell: 011-7-938-454-3196
Press Chief and para-snowboard media attaché
SOCHI Cell: 011-7-938-454-3162