Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, March 26


 

Greco Team of the Month

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

   
(Posted 10 a.m., April 3)
Multi-sport athlete an inspiration in the truest sense of the word

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Kevin Frost is a multi-sport athlete who has proven that terms like 'impaired' and 'disabled' are relative to one's abiity to overcome whatever challenges life throws at you. File photo

If you look up the word 'inspirational' in the dictionary, don't be surprised if you find a picture of Orléans athlete Kevin Frost staring back at you.

Few athletes are as inspirational as the 48-year-old speedskater/ cyclist/ rower/ golfer.

Despite having just 3.5 per cent fo his vision and nine per cent of his hearing, Frost is one of the leading para-speedskaters in the world, having won gold medals and set world records at a number of international competitions. He just missed the podium in the tandem bike event at the Canadian Para-Cycling Championships last summer, and he's an avid dragon boat paddler.

Frost is living proof that there is nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it.

"I believe in turning negative to positive," says Frost who is married with three children. "It's all about positive attitude."

Frost first began exhibiting signs of hearing loss when he was a child growing up in Embrun. When he was 11, his math teacher noticed that he wouldn't respond to him when he was standing behind him. He was referred to an audiologist who confirmed that he did indeed have limited hearing.

Frost's vision didn't begin to deteriorate until he was 25. It began with his night vision and slowy digressed. It steadily got worse until he was determined to be llegally blind at 33.

The diagnosis ended his dream of becoming an NHL referee. Up until that he had officiated in more than 20,000 minor hockey games and attended two NHL referee camps.

Rather than feel sorry for himself, Frost was determined to pursue his athletic and competitive passion.

"Being a workaholic, I didn't want to sit around doing nothing," he says.

Frost descibes his limited vision as similar to looking through a pair of straws and he can't hear anything below 90 decibels.

Deaf and blind speedskaters compete with the aid of spotters who communicate their position with them through an FM system. The skaters, however, must learn to skate around the track through constant training until it becomes instinctive.

Frost began speedskating competively in 2010. A year later he won eight gold medals and set three world records at the Paralympic Open Blind Cup in Russia. In 2012, he won four gold medals and set two world records at the World Championships for long and short track speedskating.

In 2014, he wona gold medal at the Canadian Masters Championships for able-bodied athletes and placed 13th at the World Masters Championships in Calgary.

Frost hopes to add to his medal collection when he returns to the Blind Impaired Championships in Scotland next month.

When he's not on the ice, Frost is actively involved in trying to get the International Paralympic Committee to endorse speedskating as a sanctioned sport for the 2018 Paralympics in Korea.

He's tackled the subject with the same determination and perseverance that has enable him to become a world class athlete.

Frost also believes in giving back to his community. He is an active member of the Orleans Lions Club, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help individuals in need deal with blindness. He's also travelled to Mexico several times to deliver hearing aids to children trying to cope with hearing loss.

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

 

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