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(Posted 4:30 p.m., Feb. 4)
Frost overcomes challenges both physical and financial

By Mike Beasley
The Orléans Star

Orléans sight-impaired athlete Kevin Frost walks with his guide dog Nemo prior to a recent speed skating event. File photo

For someone who is officially “dis-abled”, Kevin Frost has been “able” to accomplish an awful lot.

The 49-year-old suffers from Usher Syndrome Type 2 which results in severe tunnel vision and a loss of hearing. In Kevin’s case, he has two per cent vision in each eye – in practical terms it’s like seeing though a straw - and his hearing is nine per cent of that of an average person.

“It’s hard at times, but I have learned to work with my remaining vision and hearing. It’s an obstacle, but life is about overcoming obstacles and doing your best,” says Frost who, despite the physical challenges he faces, is more active that 90 per cent of the population who don’t have to deal with the same issues.

If you ever have the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Kevin, even for just a few minutes, you will have an incredible urge to run a marathon, climb a mountain or swim a couple of kilometres.

He will have that effect on you because he is one of the most determined and inspirational people you will ever meet.

Kevin can’t work because of his affliction and is on long-term disability. It should be changed to long term ability.

Frost plays golf, he broke 90 this past summer with Lewis his guide dog and best friend keeping him company in the golf cart; is a world-class competitive speed skater; and he recently took up the sport of tandem biking with his sighted guide and pilot Scott Laliberte.

The two are preparing for the Ontario Cycling Championships on March 4 and 5 and the Canadian Indoor Championships three weeks later. In the meantime, Frost is also focusing on the World Masters Allround Speed Skating Games taking place in Fort St. John, B.C. on March 10-12.

Among his many accomplishments, Frost finished 11th in his age group competing against able-bodied skaters at the World Allround Speed Skating Championships in the Netherlands last year; he won a silver medal in the Ontario Para-Cycling Race Series in 2016 as well; and he had the second overall net score at the USA Blind Golf Championships in September.

But he couldn’t compete in all those events and give motivational speeches to students and others trying to overcome their own disabilities without the generous support of his sponsors.

Even though he is a disabled athlete, Frost is not a carded athlete within the Canadian Paralympic Association and is continually having to raise money to pay for his training and traveling expenses.

“If an athlete is not under the government’s umbrella, you are on your own to fundraise and you have to rely on sponsorship to be competitive,” says Frost who depends on several anonymous local donors to help his cause. But he could always use additional help.

“It’s hard to get regular sponsorship and I am constantly reaching out to people for help. I want to have them share my life story and be a part of my ongoing success.”

You can follow Kevin’s sports exploits at: www.deafblindspeedskater.com.

Kevin Frost and his tandem bike guide and pilot Scott Laliberte are preparing for the Canadian championships in March. Photo supplied

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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