Paralympics: Lockey locks up Sochi spot

Rossland’s Ian Lockey will join fellow Golden City resident Kimberly Joines on the slopes in Sochi for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, Canada Snowboard and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced at Big White Monday.

Whistler’s Tyler Mosher and John Leslie of Arnprior, Ont. round out the para-snowboard team, that finished in the top 10 at World Cup races at Big White Saturday and Sunday.

Leslie raced to third on Sunday, behind the United States’ Michael Shay and Evan Strong while Lockey finished seventh. On Saturday in soft snow conditions, it was an American sweep with Shea first, Keith Gabel second and Strong third.  Leslie took fifth, Mosher sixth and Lockey 10th.

The team is coached by head coach Candice Drouin of Banff and technical coach Dave Hugill of Whistler. While para-snowboard is a new Paralympic sport that will debut in Sochi, the nominated Canadians have years of experience under their boards with numerous international medals to show for it.

Mosher was the 2009 para-snowboard world champion, has won three IPC World Cup gold medals and was a Vancouver 2010 Paralympian in para-Nordic skiing. Lockey won a world championship bronze medal in 2009. Leslie is in his first year on the World Cup circuit and just last weekend won his first IPC World Cup medals, two bronze, at Copper Mountain, where Lockey placed fifth.

“It’s quite overwhelming to believe that 10 years ago snowboarding for people with a disability didn’t exist and now we’re going to Sochi and the first ever Paralympic Games,” said Mosher in the release. “It’s a true honor to be able to represent your country and exhibit your best effort towards excellence.”

Joines was named to the para-alpine team last week, and has been on the podium for each one of her World Cup and Nor Am races this year.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 7 to 16.

Men’s and women’s para-snowboard, which at the Paralympic Games is considered a discipline of alpine skiing, will race in Sochi on March 14.

Nomination to the Canadian Paralympic Team is ongoing. The full team will be officially unveiled in February.

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