Rossland’s two Paralympic hopefuls have landed in Sochi, Russia as the next world winter games begins.
Ian Lockey and Kimberley Joines are competing in the Paralympic Winter Games in snowboardcross and alpine sit skiing, respectively.
Lockey was already up in the mountains near Sochi, acclimatizing for his coming race.
“The people of Russia are some of the most happy, friendly people I have ever interacted with,” he said. “But I'm going out proudly to represent and show the world how Canada rocks.”
Lockey competes in para-snowboard men’s snowboardcross on Friday, March 14 at 10 a.m., which is 10 p.m. Thursday, March 13 in Canada.
He said the runs look good, as does the competition.
“They are working long hours to make our course ready,” he said. “We have an alternate practice course that we are practicing on. Everyone is going fast and looking very smart and patriotic in their country’s uniforms.”
He was not too concerned heading into the Games, since he has been competing with the best in the world for a few years.
“I’m not super nervous as I've done the prep work,” he said. “No need to worry. If I can't do it now, it's a bit late to learn it.”
Joines has also been in Sochi for some time, practicing for well over a week on the Sochi slopes. She competed in para-alpine skiing, women’s sitting, on Wednesday, winning bronze, and again on Sunday, March 16.
It’s been two years since she returned to competition after recovering from a serious injury that ruled her out of the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games.
Despite winning overall titles and many IPC World Cup podiums, she was looking to add to the Paralympic bronze medal she won in Turin in 2006.
The best bet for following her for daily updates is on Twitter (@9LivesJoines), and she is also doing video blogs through IPC and Samsung, which are available on the IPC site and through YouTube by searching "Kimberly Joines (or Kimberley Joines) Samsung."