Yukon ski trail named in honour of Paralympian

A Yukon athlete is taking to the ski trails, after earning 19-medals in paralympic swimming. Stephanie Dixon has been honoured with a sign in her name.

Stephanie Dixon is a 19-time Paralympic medalist in swimming.

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      Paralympian Stephanie Dixon is getting a warm welcome in Yukon.

      On Monday, a sign was unveiled at the Whitehorse Cross-Country ski club. A section of the trail has been named in her honour. 

      Dixon is a 19-time Paralympicmedalist for swimming.  She holds a world record in a class of the the 100-metre backstroke and won seven medals at the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio.

      "I could not be more excited" she said. 

      The sign dedication has become a tradition at the ski club. Signs along the trail recognize Yukon athletes, who have competed at the Olympics, Paralympics and Special Olympics.

      Dixon says the dedication is a huge honour. Born without a right leg, she's recently taken up cross-country skiing. She's also learned to surf and rock-climb. 

      "It never occurred to me that I could cross-country ski," she said.

      It took years to figure it out and make it up the trails on my own. I had so much support and so many people to laugh with me and fall with me. - Stephanie Dixon

      "I didn't know it was possible until the coaches here reached out to me and said they had accessible equipment. It took years, it took years to figure it out and make it up the trails on my own. I had so much support and so many people to laugh with me and fall with me. It was trial and error with people who would not give up on me.  And now cross-country skiing is my sport of choice for the winter."

      Dixon is originally from Brampton, Ontario and has lived in Yukon for three years

      "To not have been there that long, but to feel so welcomed and embraced by this community and to feel like that this is home for me now and to set down some roots here and to know my name will be here forever it just, it means so much to me because this is an incredible community."

      Later this year, cross country skiers Graham and Emily Nishikawa will also see signs erected in their honour.

      The Nishikawas competed at the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games.

      Dixon is speaking tonight in Whitehorse at an event called Honoring Women with Disabilities.


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