While the Olympic Games in Sochi have ended, Canada’s Paralympic athletes are going through the final preparations before they compete.
“It's quite surreal, it's such a warm feeling and you feel the love of the crowd … I can't hear the anthem without crying,” said retired Edmonton skier Vivianne Forest, a multiple medallist.
Forest, who only has about four per cent of her vision, won five medals for Canada in the Vancouver Paralympic Games, including one gold.
“Skiing is an extremely freeing sport because you are outside and you feel the wind the speed so it is quite the experience.”
While she is no longer competing, Forest is now working with the organization she credits with first getting her to hit the slopes -- the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing. With their help, she learned the sport using a guide skier, who wears a backpack that makes sounds to help lead her down the hill at high speeds.
“Without them I would never be where I am I will never accomplish the national team. It’s an amazing organization and it has a great people with a big heart and they are really there to give back to the community,” she said.
Forest is now involved with training new skiers. She says Canada’s Paralympic team is strong this year, and is sure that it will show in the medal counts. She hopes that that will inspire others with disabilities and help show that they can represent their country on the international stage.
CBC will have coverage of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, starting with the opening ceremonies on March 7.