Culture & Entertainment

Having Sochi withdrawal? Get ready for the Paralympics!

By: Jill Buchner
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Having Sochi withdrawal? Get ready for the Paralympics!

By: Jill Buchner

After watching Team Canada on the edge of our seats for two weeks straight, cheering for every goal and holding our breath during every death-defying ski jump, we've found ourselves now in a bit of a Sochi withdrawal. Luckily for us, Sochi part two is upon us. The Paralympics kick off on Friday and they promise to be every bit as riveting as the earlier Games. The para-alpine skiers have been building the anticipation with their trailers of a new video, #PedalToTheCarpet, which features the team members racing down the hill at 130 kilometres an hour. There's only one way to describe it: hard core. Kimberly Joines, a para-alpine skier I spoke to for our Olympics issue, told me a bit about the video. The term "pedal to the carpet" became her team's slogan for the season after one of their French coaches, Joce, unintentionally coined the phrase when trying to inspire the team to go pedal to the metal. "Joce uses 'pedal to the carpet,' among many other amusingly translated one-liners (Joce-isms) when he gives the pump-up speech before big races. He always has us in stitches and lightens the mood," says Joines. "The slogan carries a lot of meaning, shared laughs, shared memories, and of course describes how we always endeavour to ski." [HTML1] Joines and the rest of her team are hoping the #PedalToTheCarpet video will introduce the world to Canada's para-alpine skiers and their sport, and bring attention to the incredible journeys that brought each of them to Sochi. And there are some pretty incredible journeys. A few months back I spoke to Joines about how she got into the sport after losing the use of her legs in a snowboarding accident. The self-described daredevil didn't miss a beat: She had already planned her athletic comeback as a para-alpine skier before she even got out of the hospital! She quickly succeeded, still addicted to the rush of racing down the slopes. Then, a year ago, while doing a practice run in Sochi, some bad conditions caused her to tumble down the hill and break both her arms. Left temporarily without the use of any limbs, you'd think she'd be ready to give up, but Joines refocused and is back, ready for the Paralympcis. Read more about Joines's story, and watch the full #PedalToTheCarpet video below as we count down to the Paralympic Games! [HTML2]
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Having Sochi withdrawal? Get ready for the Paralympics!

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