Derrick Helton of the US attempts to get the ball from Jared Funk during the Mixed Wheelchair Rugby – Open semi-final match on day 10 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
By Marianne Curtis
When the London Paralympics wound down, Jared Funk was among the paralympians that made it to the podium when he added a silver medal to the Canadian’s growing collection.
On the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Canada and Australia battled it out for gold while the USA and Japan go for the bronze in the wheelchair rugby competition. At the end of the match, Canada received the silver medal after being dominated by gold medalists Australia for a final score of 51-66.
The veteran Paralympician says it was all business when he made his third appearance in the Paralympics during his athletic career.
“The first one you’re a little bit awestruck and you’re like wow I am at the Paralympics and you have that kind of attitude,” Funk explained. “The second and third one you are there to play hard and bring home a medal.”
Funk says his most enjoyable game during the event was the game his team played against the US. “It was an amazing game – we started out strong and we ended strong,” Funk recalled. The final score on that match was 50-49 for Canada.
Prior to heading to London, Funk said this would be his last Olympics.
“I still didn’t get that taste of gold yet – I want to but we will see, I want to take a little break and then we will see from there,” Funk admitted that his wife is expecting and he wants to spend some time with his family. “We are going to play it by ear.”
Funk says the constant training four years prior to the Paralympics makes winning the medal worth that much more.
“It’s the training, the constant getting up every morning and training and when you get that medal it’s a huge weight off your shoulders, you did what you wanted to do – you brought home another medal for your country,” Funk added.
Funk has competed in wheelchair rugby for 10 years. This is his third Paralympic Games medal. He brought home Silver in Athens, 2004 and Bronze in Beijing, 2008. He also won a Silver Medal at the 1995 World Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.
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