Michelle Salt dreams of being a winter and summer sport athlete

Michelle Salt dreams of being a winter and summer sport athlete

OTTAWA – Canada’s top female Para snowboarder Michelle Salt wants to spice up her sports career by reaching a high performance level in a summer sport as well.

This won’t be big news to Salt’s fans. The 33–year-old attempted to make the 2016 Paralympic Games in Para cycling. This summer she is looking at pursuing her cycling quest and may also attempt wheelchair basketball and Para rowing.

‘’I’ve always dreamed of being a dual sport athlete,’’ said Salt, fourth in the snowboard cross and fifth in the banked slalom at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. “So I want to make that come true. I’m going to push as hard as I can to make that happen.’’

Salt was a member of Canada’s Paralympic Winter Games team at Sochi 2014 where Para snowboard made its official Paralympic debut. She was the only Canadian in the women’s competition and placed ninth in the snowboard cross. 

She has maintained herself among the world’s best since Sochi, with three fourth-place finishes at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships. She also concluded the 2015-16 World Cup season with four silver and three bronze silver medals.

Salt lost her right leg above the right knee in a near-fatal motorcycle accident in June 2011. Upon losing her leg, Salt became determined to one day participate in the Paralympic Games. 

“Snowboarding has always been a passion of mine, so it made sense to turn that love into a medal someday. It was such an incredible feeling to get back on the board after hearing it may never happen again.”

One of her first visitors while in hospital was Greg Westlake, captain of Canada’s Para ice hockey team.

‘’Greg was the first Paralympian I ever met,’’ she said. ‘’He just fuelled the fire. He told me how great the Paralympic experience was and explained to me the different sports, so it was really cool. 

‘’We walked into the Sochi Opening Ceremony together. We were like ‘we did it’.’’