The Athlete of the Month is our way of acknowledging a BC-located athlete who has displayed outstanding performances in their sport and deserves recognition. Athletes chosen monthly to be the face of Canadian Sport Institute Pacific will receive a celebration feature on our website and a gift from 2XU.
Each athlete selected as Athlete of the Month receives a small token of congratulation sponsored by 2XU. CSI Pacific would like to thank 2XU for their generosity and support of the program.
Place of Birth:
“What if everything is going to be ok? What if all my hard work pays off?” – Wade Stewart
& “Trust in the Process”
- 2019 World Para Championships Silver Medal – Shot Put
- 2019 Para Pan Ams Silver Medal – Shot Put
- 3 Time World Champion – Standing Disabled Volleyball
- U Sport Defensive Player of the Year – 2011 Thompson Rivers Men’s Basketball
I would call myself an able, disabled athlete. I grew up like most, playing little tyke soccer and doing any sport I could get my hand on. I was born missing my left arm and was treated since day 1 like anyone else. My parents chose to treat me like my brothers; besides, I could still do the dishes, clean up my room, unload the dishwasher, etc. My sporting career really took off when I was 15. I started playing for our National Disabled Volleyball Team; however, during that time, I was a high level basketball player. I was challenged to juggle disabled volleyball, while playing able, university basketball while I attended Thompson Rivers University. Oh the fun! Anyways, I had a great career in both sports and managed to be successful. When they both ended, I chose to step away completely from sport and focus on my life. I found the longer I was away from sport, the more I missed it. I always had a spidey sense that I was meant to get back into sport. Then one day I ran into a wheelchair athletics coach and we got chatting. He had asked if I ever thought about Athletics, specifically, shot put. Being from Kamloops and knowing it was the National Throw Center at one point, I said “ya, I’ve thought about it”. Now, 3 years later, I’m the #2 F46 Para Shot Put Thrower in the world. Oh ya, I forgot to mention, I’m 7’2”. I’m a pretty tall guy and that has helped a bit in my success!
How did you first get into Sport?
I first got into sport at the young age of 3-4? Like a lot of the kids do, I started in soccer, moved up to lacrosse, then moved through the different sports offered in school. When I was 14, I was 6’8”, so the height helped me become a dominant force in basketball and volleyball. I was always active growing up. I would always be found outside doing something.
What has being involved in numerous sports meant to you?
Having had the opportunity to take part in many different sports has meant a lot to me. It’s taught me how to become adaptive to your environment, how to work in a team, how to communicate effectively and efficiently, and has shown me that there is so much joy in everything we do.
What has been some major difference in all the sports you’ve played compared to Para Shot Put?
The biggest difference from shot put and everything else I’ve played is that shot put is not a team sport. The transition at first was extremely challenging. What do you mean I need to book my own flight, find my own accommodations and register for the meet? All the years I was doing team sports, we had a manager, team assistants, coaches, administration, etc. We kind of just showed up, competed, then went home. Not only that, if I was having a poor day in competition, I could be subbed out, or have another player take the reins. The independency between the 2 has be the major difference. If I have an off day or competition, it’s all on me. There’s no one to sub me out.
Tell us about your experience in Dubai!
Have you ever felt like you aren’t enough? Your hard work and perseverance did not pay off and you weren’t going to be successful? Not trusting in anything or anyone around you? That is exactly what my first week felt like at the Para World Championships in Dubai. It was my largest, most significant competition I had ever taken part in at the athletic level and I felt completely like a nobody. I have not proven myself. I’ve thrown far that year, but not in a meet that meant something. My mental toughness was weak my first week. After spiraling down that rabbit hole, I had to make a change. I chose to TRUST THE PROCESS. It wasn’t easy. It took a few days, and I chose to pay careful attention to what was being asked of me, how I was acting, responding. I started to look at the moment in time, and not what everything was taking from me. I focused on what my coach Dylan Armstrong suggested; got the needed rest, ate at the right times, physically and mentally prepared, and I started to have fun. The competition was freaking amazing. I threw 3 personal bests and set a new Canadian Record. My last throw I threw a 50cm PB throwing 16.30m. My competitor Josh from the USA threw a world record of 16.80m which is just right crazy and we are the first throwers in our category to throw over 16m, ever. Being #2 in the world is an extraordinary experience. Dubai is an amazing city and the experience has been the best so far. It just goes to show that even in times of stress and not feeling worthy, we can overcome and be the best versions of ourselves.
What does training for the 2020 Paralympic Games look like now until then?
Training looks pretty focused and consistent. This is a huge year. Coming off a great season last year has helped boost my confidence going into 2020. I’m going to read up on some mental health books, give it my all when I’m training, eat a lot of food, get a ton of rest and recovery (I’m not a spring chicken anymore), and have fun. I have a few meets in the US, China, over seas, etc.
What is a 2020 goal of yours?
My goal for 2020 is to see things clearly. No pun intended. I want to continue on trusting in the process and maintaining a loving, healthy and fun lifestyle. By remaining focused on those, the rest will take care of itself. It has been my dream to attend and compete in the Paralympic Games!
What’s your favourite colour and why?
Depends on the mood and the situation. But, I would say wearing red, white and black would be my favorite colors. The colors of Team Canada. Competing for this amazing country and wearing its colors has definitely given me some of the best experiences of my life.
View Previous 2XU Athletes of the month:
- December 2019 – Scott Tupper (Field Hockey)
- November 2019 – Evan Dunfee (Athletics)
- October 2019 – Sara Groenewegen (Softball)
- September 2019 – Natasha Wodak (Track & Field)
- August 2019 – Brienne Stairs (Field Hockey)
- July 2019 – Nate Gray Wolf Riech (Para-Athletics)
- June 2019 – Caitlin Nash & Natalie Corless (Luge)
- May 2019 – Markus Thormeyer (Swimming)
- April 2019 – Hayato Sato (Curling)
- March 2019 – Celina Toth (Diving)
- February 2019 – Simon d’Artois (Freestyle Skiing)
- January 2019 – Phil Mack (Rugby)
- December 2018 – Ian Ryder (Judo)