10 a.m., April 3)
Multi-sport athlete an inspiration in the truest sense of
By Fred Sherwin
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.
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
athletes are as inspirational as the 48-year-old speedskater/
cyclist/ rower/ golfer.
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
is living proof that there is nothing you can't do if
you set your mind to it.
believe in turning negative to positive," says Frost
who is married with three children. "It's all about
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.
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
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.
than feel sorry for himself, Frost was determined to pursue
his athletic and competitive passion.
a workaholic, I didn't want to sit around doing nothing,"
descibes his limited vision as similar to looking through
a pair of straws and he can't hear anything below 90 decibels.
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.
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.
2014, he wona gold medal at the Canadian Masters Championships
for able-bodied athletes and placed 13th at the World
Masters Championships in Calgary.
hopes to add to his medal collection when he returns to
the Blind Impaired Championships in Scotland next month.
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
tackled the subject with the same determination and perseverance
that has enable him to become a world class athlete.
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.
story was made possible thanks to the geenerous support
of our local business partners.)
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