The 2006 Winter Paralympic Games were kicked off in Torino yesterday, with an athlete's parade and a sizeable crowd in attendance.

The CBC News website has a good Paralympic section (although I wish it had more prominent placement), including these useful FAQs.

Sled hockey starts today with Canada vs Great Britain. Canada is, of course, a sled hockey powerhouse, and expectations are high for this team.

As usual, no one in the US will see the Paralympics on TV. From 360 Magazine:
While NBC dedicated hours upon hours of television time to the Olympics, it will not broadcast one minute of the Paralympics. In response to this network blackout, the International Paralympic Committee recently launched www.ParalympicSport.TV to allow viewers to watch the upcoming games in Torino, Italy. From March 10 through March 19, ParalympicSport.TV is scheduled to show more than 100 hours of footage. People may watch the competitions live or on-demand.

Fifty-five Americans will be among approximately 550 men and women from 41 countries competing in four sports: alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, sled hockey and wheelchair curling. This is the first time wheelchair curling will be included in the Paralympic Games.

Actually, one wheeler did make it into NBC’s Winter Games coverage. Sam Sullivan, the quad mayor of Vancouver, accepted the Olympic flag during the closing ceremonies. This Canadian city is scheduled to host the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
I won't be able to watch much, if any, of these games. I'll be busy writing a profile of wheelchair athlete, organizer and all-around amazing person Dave Kiley for New Mobility magazine. (There's irony for ya.) It's been a long time since I had to write around a full-time work schedule. Energy and time being limited, it means bearing down every weekend.

On the subject of winter sports for people with disabilities, here's an old story of mine about champion skier Muffy Davis.


lucie said...

hi, i am very interested in your article and didn't know about this magazine you seem to be working for. thank you for the information.

one of my readers gave me your blog's URL last night because i just sent my immigration papers to buffalo, although my situation is slightly different (i do have a job offer in canada already). as i was reading this post, i was curious about one thing and it looks like you are someone who could answer my question: is life for disabled people, in canada, as easy as it is in the US? are canadians as open and helpful with disabled people? are the laws protecting disabled people in canada? i am asking this because i have several health problem and have thoroughly enjoyed life in the US (coming from france and switzerland where disabled people are ignored and seen as "problematic"). i'd really appreciate any information about this.

laura k said...

Hi Lucie, thanks for your comments.

I can't say from first-hand experience whether life is good for people with disabilities in Canada, because I am not disabled myself. However, from talking with people with disabilities and writing about disability issues, I've always had a great impression of Canada.

Canadian laws prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities earlier than US law did. Toronto and Vancouver are both very accessible. (I don't know about Montreal, it may be, too.) There are huge numbers of sports programs and inclusion programs all over the country.

As you probably know, Vancouver, the third largest city in Canada, recently elected Sam Sullivan as mayor. Sullivan is a quadriplegic. He founded lots of programs, including a well-known disabled sailing program.

And of course, in Canada, unlike in the US, your health care is taken care of.

As far as attitudes, that I don't know. I haven't heard or seen about backwards attitudes towards disability here, that's all I can say.

Anyway... good luck with your immigration application! Let us know when you get here. :)

lucie said...

thanks a lot for your help! i'll be sure to let you know when i get the work permit :)