BIG WHITE, BC, Feb. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Para-snowboarder Michelle Salt of Calgary, Alta. has been nominated to the Canadian team that will compete at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games in March, Canada Snowboard and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced today.
Salt, 28, is relatively new to the para-snowboard world as she lost her right leg above the knee in a near-fatal motorcycle accident in June 2011. Upon losing her leg, she became determined to one day participate in the Paralympic Games. Salt placed seventh at the 2013 IPC World Cup in Big White, B.C.
Salt's complete bio is available HERE. She is also featured in the Canadian Paralympic Committee's recently launched "What's There" awareness campaign, with video and posters available at www.paralympic.ca/multimedia.
Salt joins Team Canada's roster of three para-snowboarders who were nominated on Jan. 26, rounding out a strong Canadian contingent poised to compete at para-snowboard's first appearance at the Paralympic Games. The team includes Tyler Mosher (Whistler, B.C.), Ian Lockey (Rossland, B.C.) and John Leslie (Arnprior, Ont.). They are coached by head coach Candice Drouin (Banff, Alta.) and technical coach Dave Hugill (Whistler, B.C.).
The additional qualifying spot became available through a medical exemption by the International Paralympic Committee, as Salt was injured earlier this season and not able to compete. She has been cleared to compete in Sochi.
"It's pretty incredible that two and a half years ago I was lying in a hospital bed struggling for my life and now here I am with the opportunity to make history with the debut of the sport and to proudly represent my country," said Salt. "I'm going to ride my heart out and see where that goes."
"It's not easy getting injured this late in the game and I'm really excited for Michelle to be able to compete in these Games," added head coach Candice Drouin. "We're happy that she has come back and is healthy for these Games."
"Canada Snowboard is pleased to have its top Canadian female para-snowboarder nominated and prepared to compete in Sochi," said team leader Dustin Heise who is also Director, Sport Development, Canada Snowboard. "We're excited about the opportunity for Michelle to challenge the international field, as well as herself, as she strives to deliver in 2014 and 2018."
"Michelle has shown great drive and dedication to the task of building Canada in to a strong para-snowboard nation since it became the newest sport on the Paralympic program," said Team Canada Chef de Mission Ozzie Sawicki. "I admire the positive energy around this team and I can't wait to see them all compete in Sochi."
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 7 to 16. With a goal of placing in the top three nations in the gold medal count, Canada will send approximately 50 athletes to compete in sledge hockey, wheelchair curling, para-Nordic skiing, biathlon, para-alpine skiing and para-snowboard.
The complete Canadian Paralympic Team will be officially announced on Wednesday, February 26.
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.
WATCH: With 100 days to go to the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) unveiled an unprecedented, fully accessible broadcast and electronic media plans for the most comprehensive coverage ever offered in Canada for a Paralympic Games - more than 65 hours of broadcast, up to 350 hours of digital streaming, and rights free news access highlights connecting Canadians via multi platforms. CPC will lead the Paralympic Broadcast Consortium partners in creating coverage on five broadcast/digital platforms: CBC/Radio-Canada, Sportsnet, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), Yahoo Sports Canada and SendtoNews. The schedule will be available shortly on www.paralympic.ca/sochi2014.
About Canada Snowboard
Canada Snowboard (Canadian Snowboard Federation) is the national governing body for snowboarding in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners like The Canadian Tire Corporation, Under Armour and Mazda Canada, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee; Canada Snowboard is committed to high performance excellence in FIS World Cup, World Championships, World Snowboard Tour and Olympic Winter Games competition. Canada Snowboard also provides a wide range of programs and support services based on established principles of long-term athlete development. For more information on the services and programs offered by Canada Snowboard, visit: www.canadasnowboard.ca
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca
SOURCE: Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
For further information:
Manager, Media Relations and Communications
Canadian Paralympic Committee
Phone: 613-569-4333 ext. 243