By Marianne Curtis
Televised broadcasting of the London Olympics may be over for the majority of the world but for a Niverville resident the event is just beginning.
When the London Paralympics kicked off August 29 veteran Wheelchair Rugby Paralaympian Jared Funk was among the many athletes participating in the event.
“I love the game,’’ says Funk. “It’s an intriguing and physical game that goes out of the realm of what everyone thinks.”
After competing in the last three Paralympics Funk says this would be his final time participating. Funk has competed in wheelchair rugby for 10 years. He has won two Paralympic Games medals — Silver in Athens, 2004 and Bronze in Beijing, 2008. He also won a Silver Medal at the 1995 World Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.
Currently awaiting to compete in his first game on September 5, Funk says he wants end his Olympic career on a high note.
“My goal is to see my flag and hear my anthem when I win Gold at the
Olympic Games,” Funk stated. He will get his opportunity to prove his stuff when Canada takes on Australia on September 5.
The first game will see Great Britain begin their campaign against USA, current Paralympic champions and top ranked team in the world on September 5. On the same day in Pool B, Beijing 2008 silver medallists Australia will face the bronze medallists Canada. Semi-finals take place on September 8 before the gold medal match on September 9.
Wheelchair rugby is unique to the Paralympic Games. It was invented in the 1970’s in Winnipeg, Canada by persons who had become quadriplegics and were looking to continue to participate in a fast-paced, exciting sport. It is believed to be the fastest growing wheelchair sport in the world.