Going to the Paralympic Games wasn’t on Louis Fortin’s radar when he started cross-country skiing competitively in 2010. Fortin, a one-arm amputee, had always enjoyed playing numerous sports. But when three Para-nordic skiing spots opened on the New Brunswick team for the 2011 Canada Winter Games, a local coach suggested Fortin should pursue a berth.
At the Games, Fortin won two silver medals and his competitive career was launched. He has since competed at three World Cup events for the past three seasons, his best result a sixth-place finish in the long distance event in 2012.
So far in 2013-14, Fortin has competed at one World Cup and has entered many local races against able-bodied competition in his home province. He is scheduled to race the middle distance and sprint events at the Sochi Paralympic Games in the standing category.
Off the ski trails, Fortin, 36, is a mathematics teacher at Oromocto High School in Saint John, a position he has held for the past four years. He is a graduate of the University of Moncton in forestry and worked in the field prior to becoming a teacher. He was born in Shippagan, N.B.
His arm and shoulder were amputated at age 14 after he developed bone cancer. He has travelled around the world, spending a year studying in Belgium, six months in England as a bartender, and two years in Italy.
Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee