First published in the Lethbridge Herald on Wednesday, October 2, 2019
The International Paralympic Committee is celebrating 30 years of helping people around the world with physical disabilities through para sport. Para sport is all about turning obstacles into opportunities.
The Lethbridge 2020 Alberta Summer Games will play host to up to 40 para sport athletes in athletics also known as track and field and swimming.
The Alberta Summer Games follows the Commonwealth Games model of integration of para sport with able-bodied sport competition. While the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Pan American and ParaPan American Games follow a model of distinct and separate competitions.
At the provincial level of competition, an integrated model helps to promote connection and friendship building between all athletes.
The Alberta Games provides a competitive opportunity for provincial level para sport athletes in hopes of inspiring them to continue striving to reach their athletic potential.
Para athletes ages 14 to 24 will compete in four events in athletics. Track events are Para Wheel 100m and 200m, and field events include Para Seated shot put and discus throw.
Para swimming competition is categorized by classes rather than by age. Para swimmers compete in 50m and 100m distances in free, back, and breast strokes and in 4 x 50m free and medley relays.
This past summer, Lethbridge sport fans had reason to follow the highs and lows of athletes at the Lima ParaPan American Games. Lethbridge’s Lowell Taylor competed in Tandem Cycling with his pilot Andrew Davidson for Team Canada.
Taylor has Retinitis Pigmentosa that causes gradual sight loss. He is now legally blind with no peripheral vision, reduced central vision, and no vision in low light.
Taylor and Davidson won silver medals in both Track Cycling and Road Cycling.
Their sights are now set to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Explore the Lethbridge Sport Council Sport Directory, Wheelchair/Adapted Sports to find out about local para sport programs or call the Lethbridge Sport Council office at 403-320-5412.
Throughout the year, Lethbridge Sport Council will publish articles about each of the 14 sports included in the 2020 Alberta Summer Games showcasing local programs, people and places.
For more local sport information visit www.lethbridgesportcouncil.ca
Lethbridge Herald Article (on archive.org)