It’s official: Terrace’s Caleb Brousseau, 24, will represent Team Canada at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, making his Paralympic debut as part of the para-alpine team in the men’s sitting category.
Brousseau finished top 10 in all of his events at his first world competition of the season in Panorama, B.C. earlier this month with a best finish of 7th in Downhill. And last weekend he was at his second world competition of the year at Copper Mountain in Colorado before today’s official announcement in Calgary.
“I feel really confident about the team we’ve put together,” said para-alpine team head coachJean-Sébastien Labrie, in a release announcing the 13 athletes who will make up the team. “The depth of talent is exceptional. We’re going to be looking to athletes like Chris Williamson, who has more than 100 World Cup podiums, to lend experience to the younger athletes who absolutely have the ability to be on the podium, but not necessarily the miles logged at an event as big as the Paralympics. It’s going to be a really exciting group to watch.”
At the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Labrie coached the para-alpine team to 13 of Canada’s 19 total medals, including six gold.
“Canada has one of the leading para-alpine programs in the world, and this roster of athletes reflects that,” said Brianne Law, athletic director of the para-alpine program at Alpine Canada, at the announcement. “In Vancouver we showed the world some exceptional performances, and I hope that Sochi will be no different. Any one of our athletes has the potential to step up to the challenge on race day and make Canada proud.”
Brosseau injured himself snowboarding in 2007, but didn’t let that derail his athletic dreams, quickly taking on sit-skiing and becoming one of the top up-and-coming para-alpine athletes in the country.
This year and last have been all about preparing for the Paralympic Games, taking place March 7 to 16 in Sochi, Russia.
Speaking last week, Brousseau said he and his teammates spent all summer dryland training in Whistler, where he lives when he’s not competing.
“This year we’ve been non-stop,” he said. “I’m feeling pretty good about it.”
And although the pre-season push was big, before the season officially began he got to take a break here at home with his family and friends, skiing Shames Mountain for about a week in December.
“Each and every day was powder,” he said, noting it was especially welcome because last season living in Whistler he only had about 10 powder days in total.
Brousseau has a Facebook page called Skiing with Caleb Brousseau that he’ll be updating regularly, and The Terrace Standard will be following his journey, as well.
And he says his family won’t be travelling to Sochi to watch him, but you can bet there will be viewing parties here in Terrace cheering him on.