When Maple Ridge’s Tristan Smyth became a paraplegic in 2010, after a longboarding accident, the community rallied behind him to support his recovery.
Smyth has developed a passion for wheelchair racing, and dreams of making the Canadian wheelchair racing national team and competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
He has been competing in a local race series for the past two years, and goes to 10k runs and half marathons in various cities. He has raced against Canadian Paralympic Team athletes at the nationals already.
He is clearly loving the sport.
“I’d also like to see more recognition for the sport and to advance the level of research, technology, and sport science that goes into it and developing top level athletes in the sport,” he said. “Add legitimacy to it. Legitimize para-sports to the general public audience, so people are interested in watching it as a sport and watching us as athletes.”
His sister Caitlin Meunier is hosting a fundraiser for at the Haney Public House on Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Money raised will help support Smyth’s training and allow him to purchase the expensive equipment he needs to compete against the best athletes in the world. The cost will be $20 per person or $35 per couple.