I was born with diplegic Cerebral Palsy, despite my disability and with the encouragement of my family, friends and doctors I have always been very active and involved in sports. I set my goals and work hard in achieving them. I thrived in sport and represented the United States in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Paralympic Games as an alpine skier. After the 2010 Games I had retired from ski racing, but I was introduced to the sport of Paracanoe and my competitive fire was reignited. My ultimate goal is to make it to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where Paracanoe will make its debut. The idea of being both a winter and summer Paralympian has given me great motivation.
I AM RAISING FUNDS TO COMPETE
The ability to train and attend races requires financial support and right now I’m not getting any from US Canoe/Kayak. This year qualifying races are super important to be eligible to compete in Rio in 2016.
In order to compete internationally I need to get to:
- April 2015- US Team Trials in Oklahoma City. At this race it is imperitive to make the time standard to qualify and make the standard for the 2015 World Cup
- May 2015- *World Cup Paracanoe races at 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup Duisberg, Germany..this race is a BIG ONE because I need to be internationally classified PRIOR to World Championships.
- July 2015- Lake Lanier, GA. With good times, I will qualify me for the US Team and earn a start at the World Championships in Milan, Italy.
- August 2015- World Championships, Italy. In Milan I will have the opportunity to meet the World Championship criteria for Rio as well as potentially qualifying a boat for Team USA!!!
- May 2016- US Team Trials and selections for Rio 2016
- Athlete (Ski Racer) Multiple international, World Cup and Paralympic appearances 1996-2010
- 2014 U.S. Canoe/ Kayak Sprint Nationals Paracanoe Womn's 200m race-National Champion
- 2014 U.S. Canoe/ Kayak Sprint Nationals Paracanoe Women's 500m race-National Champion
- 2014 U.S. Canoe/ Kayak Lake Placid International Paracanoe TA race-4th Place
- 2012 U.S. Canoe/ Kayak Sprint Nationals Paracanoe race- 3rd Place
- 2011 Inspiration Award from Sporting Women of Colorado
- 2009 Hal O’Leary Award recipient
- 2007 Hiked to summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa 19,340ft
- 2007 U.S. Disabled Cycling Nationals Road Race 3rd Place
- 2004 U.S. Disabled Cycling Nationals Time Trial 3rd Place
- 2000 U.S. Disabled Cycling Nationals Road Race 2nd Place
- Travel and Related Expense: $6,700
- Training fees: $1,612
- Equipment: $ 754
- Entry Fees: $ 320
I would not be where I am today without my wonderful and supportive parents, my family, and friends (all around) but especially those in Seattle that have made it possible for me to get Winter training with the Kenmore/ Cascade Canoe and Kayak Team- with my amazing coach Dan Henderson!
Join My Team and Spread the Word!
- Thank you for reading my page and for any and all support. No contribution is too small!!
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Gary & Valerie