Follow my journey as a Students Live reporter through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Exciting Encounter

Today as I was trekking down the slopes of Whistler, I spotted a group of skiers all with matching jackets, as I got closer I noticed they were Russia jackets, and as I got even closer I noticed that many of them were missing a leg. This is when I got really excited, I realized that I had spotted the Russian Paralympic Ski Team!

Trying to be as subtle as possible I followed one of them down the run. This lady was on one leg, and had two poles with mini-skis on the ends of them for balance. I was amazed at how graceful she looked racing down the hill, on one leg I can't even imagine how hard that would be. And she was going so fast too, I found it hard to keep up. Eventually I gave up following her, as I was falling behind, and I thought I was beginning to be a little creepy.

Then, a few hours down the road, I saw two more Russian jackets, but this time they both had a full pair of legs. I thought they were just some random Russians but it turns out they were also on the Paralympic team. One of these ladies was blind and the other was her guide. I could see the microphone on the guide so that she can call out commands to her athlete; briefing her of turns, bumps, and obsticles. It was so interesting to see how someone who is visually impaired can dodge all these people skiing down the hill. And it just got me thinking, what would happen if someone comes flying out infront of the skier, and her guide doesn't have time to tell her to stop, or if someone falls right infront of her. Thinking about it, there is so many things that could go wrong, but I find it amazing that you don't hear about more accidents. It was such a cool thing to watch the team in action and it is really a fascinating concept!

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