Paralympians ready to take world stage at 2010 Games

The Canadian Paralympic team is gearing up for their shot at gold medals as their leg of the international Games begin March 12-21 in Vancouver.

Stopped — The Canadian sledge hockey golaie gathers the puck in front of the net during training in Trail on March 2.

The Canadian Paralympic team is gearing up for their shot at gold medals as their leg of the international Games begin March 12-21 in Vancouver.

The Canadian team will be 55 athletes strong including paralympic sit skier Kimberley Joines and the assistant coach of the men’s sledge hockey team Mike Mondin.

The men’s sledge Hockey team practiced in Trail on March 2-3 on their way to Vancouver and to hopefully repeat as world champions.

“It’s very exciting,” said Mondin who lives in Trail.

“The guys are looking forward to defending their title and I think we can do it.”

Mondin said the team is staying focused and fit, but many on the team are under no stress and will be having fun competing.

Canada’s Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling teams are both defending gold medalists and will be going into the Games ready to defend their titles.

The men’s sledge hockey team will play their first game on March 12 against team Italy.

Canada will compete in all five sports including curling, sledge hockey, para-alpine and para-nordic skiing.

At Salt Lake City in 2002 and Turin in 2006, two Canadians finished sixth in medals, in Turin they won 13 medals and was the only country to win gold in all sports.

Their goal for 2010 is to finish in the top three of gold winning nations.

36 men and 19 women will be on Canada’s roster including Rossland’s Joines.

Joines is hard at training and will be participating in the downhill event on March 13, the super G March 15, super combined March 16, the giant slalom March 19 and slalom March 21.

Joines is recovering from an appendix surgery and two silver medals at a recent World Cup in Austria.

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