Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Skier celebrates victorious debut

Manitoban strikes gold in cross-country event

  • Print

Slade Doyle chose a grand stage to win his first cross-country ski race, doing so in the first event he has ever entered.

The Manitoba athlete crossed the line well ahead of the pack in the 2.5-kilometre men's standing free para competition Monday morning at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax.

Doyle covered the distance in a time of 6:20.40. Louis Fortin of New Brunswick finished in second place at 7:46.40. Gabriel Denis of Ontario placed third with a time of 7:54.40.

Doyle is pretty used to being a winner, having been a member of Team Canada's six-time International Standing Amputee Ice Hockey Federation world championship team.

Still, he said the victory was humbling. "To be honest, it is really hard to believe this is really happening," said Doyle. "I am super excited. Words can't even describe what I am feeling right now."

Doyle, 35, lost both his hands below the elbow in an electrical accident in 1997.

"I was just a young guy, and it took me about a year before I even learned to tie my shoelaces," he told the Free Press last April.

For hockey, which he put on hold this year in order to ski in his backyard, Doyle used special prostheses, which enabled him to hold a hockey stick and shoot and stickhandle with it.

For skiing, he depends entirely on his legs.

"I don't use poles," said the electrical engineering technician for Manitoba Hydro in Brandon. "I am a bilateral amputee, so I don't have arms. I just use my legs. I don't wear the prosthetics when I race. To wear them every day puts you under a lot of strain, but to not wear them when I am in skiing makes it feel very natural."

Doyle said making Team Manitoba was a numbers game. "This is my first winter skiing, and there was no one to challenge me for the spot."

Making the switch from hockey wasn't easy.

"The balance was somewhat difficult," said Doyle, "but without hands, balance was something I had to fight with just in everyday living.

"But the way I ski, I put 100 per cent of the power through my legs, and just power my way through the course."

Doyle's wife Hannah isn't surprised at her husband's success on skis.

"We (Hannah and their daughters Alexandra, 8, Samantha, 6, and Annabelle, 3) are so proud of him. He never ceases to amaze us. Once he sets his mind to something, we support him in every way we can," Hannah said Monday..

"The girls love it. They were so excited when he was playing hockey, and when they found out he was going to Halifax to ski they were thrilled."

Hannah said they wished they could have been in Halifax for the occasion, but "the girls are competing in their own dancing event this week, jazz, tap and ballet."

Hannah says the girls can stay up late to meet him at the airport in Winnipeg Sunday night, and after that they'll make the drive back to Brandon where the next day they'll have a celebration with friends and family.

Her biggest problem is how to decide which of their three competitive little girls will be the first to wear their dad's gold medal.

In the women's para sit-ski competition at the Games, Jamie Triskle of Kenora finished sixth.

In another cross-country skiing competition at the Games, Kieran Baird of Rossburn finished 25th Monday in the men's 10-kilometre free competition.

Other Manitobans entered in the race were Joel Peltz (30th), Alex Druwe (32nd), Jordie Baird (35th), and Sean Carter (39th).

Amie Mathews was the top Manitoba woman over the 7.5-kilometre course, finishing 27th. Other Manitoba women were Samantha Burkart (30th), Maya Boivin (31st), Alex Loeppky (35th) and Jennie Hissa (39th).

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 22, 2011 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Mike O'Shea on win over Alouettes August 22

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Canada goose flies towards the sun near the Perimeter Highway North and Main St Monday afternoon – See Day 10 for Bryksa’s 30 goose project - May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many wins do you think the Bombers will finish with this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google