Oromocto teacher Louis Fortin to compete in Paralympics
Cross-country skier busy training, fundraising for Winter Games in Sochi in March
A New Brunswick teacher is heading to the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi in March.
Louis Fortin, a French immersion teacher at Oromocto High School, has excelled in various sports his entire life, despite losing his right arm, shoulder, collarbone and shoulder blade in a battle with cancer at the age of 14.
He only got into competitive cross-country skiing five years ago, in preparation for the Canada Games, he said.
Now, he's getting ready to compete internationally in the sport — his first foray into the para sports world.
"I did feel the first time I went to a para competition that it felt like being part of a group that felt really like my group," said Fortin.
He will be competing in several races, in one of the most competitive Paralympic divisions — men's standing.
Fortin has been training hard, spending long hours on the trails, no matter the weather, trying to master the 10- and 20-kilometre distances.
But it's the sprint he's really waiting for, he said.
"You never know what can happen," said Fortin. "We've seen world cup races and even Olympic races where athlete fell down, so you can pass by. You never know what can happen."
Fortin is also busy fundraising to help get him to Russia, cover his days off work and the cost of the equipment.
His goal is $10,000.
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be held March 7-16.