Vernon’s Curt Minard negotiates a jump on his way to a bronze medal at the Para-Snowboard World Cup circuit Paralympics test event in South Korea in 2018. The three-time Canadian champion in snowboardcross has retired from the national team. (Natasja Vos photography)

Vernon Paralympian calls it a career

Curt Minard, three-time Canadian Para snowboard cross champ and Paralympian, retires at 41

If Canada had a Para scuba diving team, Vernon’s Curt Minard would try out for it.

Minard, 41, who lost his left forearm in an industrial accident near Invermere in 2008, has represented Canada and won gold at the World Amputee Hockey Championships.

As a member of Canada’s Para-snowboard team, Minard has won three national Para snowboardcross championships and represented his country at his sport’s highest level, the 2018 Paralympics in Korea, where he placed sixth in both snowboardcross and banked slalom.

Injuries since then, specifically concussion problems, have led to Minard’s retirement from the Canadian Para snowboard team.

“When you play at a high level and you suffer injuries, they take much longer to heal at my age,” said Minard, taking a breather from building a shed at the Okanagan Landing home he shares with his wife, Heidi. “It’s one decision that I have struggled to come to terms with. But after my fifth concussion and the aftermath that haunted my spirit and ability to get physically healed, the time has come to check my health first and look back on the journey and accomplishments that I have experienced.”

With Heidi and his two sons’ blessing, Minard called it a career from the slopes. His family left the decision to him.

For Minard, there was no greater honour in his sporting life than wearing the Maple Leaf of Canada, both in hockey and snowboarding.

“I’m forever grateful for everyone believing in me and what I set out to accomplish for our program and my athletic career,” he said. “The road to Pyeonchang (Korea Paralympics) was not a path that came easy but a path that I reflect on that showed the accomplishments and grit to sacrifice every piece of your well-being to possibly taste victory.

“Most important, it showed myself what determination was within and how much we all love our country.”

He started a book in 2016 that he hopes to finish, and, of course, he’s got the shed building keeping him busy. Minard hopes to continue with the national team program as a mentor, and, when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, resume his career as a motivational speaker.

Minard and Heidi love to travel, which is where he picked up his newfound love for seeing things underwater.

“I love scuba diving,” he said. “I hope to do more of that and, of course, try to learn to relax.”

The hockey gold medal, three Canadian snowboard titles and competing at the Paralympics aside, Minard said one of his biggest thrills was being named Tim Hortons North Okanagan Athete of the Year in 2017-18.

“When you get noticed by your own community, that’s an awesome feeling,” said Minard. “I am extremely grateful for all of the support I received from Vernon and area during my career.”

READ MORE: Minard sixth as banked slalom debuts at Paralympics

READ MORE: Athlete overcomes accident

READ MORE: Awards honour North Okanagan’s top athletes



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

paralympianSkiing and Snowboarding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Silver Star waste disposal site to add staff, change operating hours

Changes to the Silver Star Transfer Station will be in effect starting Aug. 1

Six-vehicle collision involving two semi-trucks leaves several injured near Sicamous

Investigators believe a semi-truck crossed a double solid line along Trans-Canada Highway

Six affordable homes slated for Lumby

The village and Habitat for Humanity enter agreement to build on Shields Avenue

Fines now payable by credit card in Coldstream

Card payment option now available for parking and other violation tickets

Study suggests 8 times more people in B.C. infected with virus than confirmed

The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

Mitchell’s Musings: Trump targets winning strategy with staff

Yet another strategy meeting behind closed doors at the White House: Donald… Continue reading

Bikers Are Buddies set up in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Non-profit motorcycle group rides to raise awareness around bullying

Commons finance committee to begin probing WE Charity’s volunteering contract

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has admitted he should have recused himself from the decision

Woman receives ‘extremely disturbing sexual threats’ while on Lower Mainland bus

The woman was riding the bus when she received threats of sexual violence from someone nearby

RCMP investigate shots fired in Kelowna

Officers immediately flooded the area but the suspect was not located

‘We’re not busting ghosts’: Northern B.C. paranormal investigators check out bistro

Paranormal North Coast British Columbia recently checked out PF Bistro at City Centre Mall.

BC CDC warns of two more Kelowna flights with COVID-19 exposure

Passengers on exposed flights are asked to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their flight

Morning Start: An animal epidemic is called an ‘epizootic’

Your morning start for Thursday, July 16, 2020

Most Read