TORONTO – Double leg amputee Michael Trauner caught the bug for competitive sport at the recent Invictus Games in Toronto. Now he would like to one day represent Canada at the Paralympic Games.
Trauner took his first step in that direction on Sunday November 26 at the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s PARALYMPIAN SEARCH. The event was co-hosted by the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) and held at the Toronto Pan Am Sport Centre.
‘’I’m hoping to take my recent experience and transfer that to the Paralympic Games,’’ said Trauner, who competes in rowing and cycling. The Canadian soldier lost part of both legs in 2008 when he stepped on a remotely detonated improvised explosive in Afghanistan. “To get on the Paralympic team would be awesome.’’
PARALYMPIAN SEARCH is an exciting program designed to identify future potential Paralympic athletes. It is a one-day event offering people with a disability the chance to test their abilities and discover which Paralympic sports they are best suited for
In Toronto, a total of 33 participants attempted the exercises at that tested their speed, strength and agility under the supervision of national team coaches and Paralympic sport high performance experts.
National Para ice hockey player Brad Bowden, a two-time Paralympic Games medallist – including gold in 2006 - was the event ambassador.
‘’This is a great opportunity for the participants to find out what sport they are best suited for and discover their next new passion,’’ said Bowden. ‘’As well it’s a great way for the athletes to connect with national sport organisations and meet other people who are involved in different sports.’’
Jenny Davey, Manager, Paralympic Pathways for the CPC said it was one of the most successful Paralympic Search events yet, but also noted that the event brought to light the many challenges that persist in the Para sport system.
“We were very encouraged because we saw more young people than we have ever seen before at a PARALYMPIAN SEARCH, but many parents still spoke of how difficult it can be to find appropriate sport programming for their children. We hope this event helped connect families to quality sport opportunities.”
Comments from interviews with CP24 and AMI