Spallumcheen resident named top athlete

Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards recognizes curler Ina Forrest

Ina Forrest was named the best female athlete Saturday at the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards.

Ina Forrest was named the best female athlete Saturday at the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards.

Ina Forrest has to make more room in her trophy case.

The Spallumcheen Paralympian was named best female athlete Saturday at the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards ceremony in Toronto.

Forrest used her trademark accuracy and mental focus in her position as third to help Canada win the wheelchair curling gold medal in Sochi. Forrest also won wheelchair curling Paralympic gold in Vancouver 2010.

“This really is more of a team award,” said Forrest to paralympic.ca. “Although it ultimately comes down to throwing the rock, there is a lot of team effort that goes in to it before that happens. I have tremendous teammates and staff, and everything is there to make the athletes play the very best they can be.”

Athletes in para-alpine skiing, para-Nordic skiing and wheelchair curling took centre stage today as stars of the Sochi 2014 Canadian Paralympic team and the broader Canadian Paralympic movement were honoured at the ceremony.

The Paralympic Sport Awards celebrate top athletes, recognizing their achievements from the most recent Paralympic Games, in addition to honouring and recognizing the contribution of coaches.

“There were so many outstanding performances in Sochi and plenty of deserving athletes and coaches for these awards,” said Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic committee. “I’d like to congratulate today’s recipients as well as the entire Canadian Paralympic team for an outstanding performance in Sochi.”

The Canadian Paralympic Team placed third in the gold medal count in Sochi with 16 medals – seven gold, two silver and seven bronze.

Forrest, Vernon’s Sonja Gaudet and the Canadian wheelchair curling team won the award for Best Team Performance. The team won its third straight Paralympic Games gold medal.

Best Games Debut award went to para-alpine skiers Mac Marcoux of Sault-Ste-Marie, Ont. and guide Robin Fémy of Mont-Tremblant, Que.The pair won a gold and two bronze medals in visually impaired para-alpine skiing. Marcoux is only 16.

Best Male Athlete went to para-nordic skiier Brian McKeever of Canmore, Alta. and guides Erik Carleton of Canmore and Graham Nishikawa of Whitehorse. They combined to win three gold medals in visually-impaired para-nordic skiing in Sochi. McKeever was Canada’s most decorated athlete at these Games.