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First Person - Brad Lennea

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Now I tell people I'm a sit-skier and they get. They've all seen it, and they know it's a Paralympic sport. They have a lot more questions.

Pique : Has that been beneficial to you?

BL : Yeah, it helps out a lot. Especially being here in Whistler, with what's going on with 2010.

Pique : Has winning the 2010 Paralympics in Whistler helped you and your sport?

BL : Well it gives me a lot more exposure for one thing. I'm being asked to do a lot more newspaper and magazine stuff.

The biggest impact I think are the programs we'll see developed for the entry level, the people just getting started in the sport. Not so much learning to ski, but learning to race.

I was actually waiting to see how the bid turned out before I made my decision on how long I wanted to be involved in the sport as an athlete. Since it's going to be here, I'm going to be here, too.

Pretty much everything is geared towards that. All my big decisions are based around it.

Pique : Have you worked with a lot of kids, entry level skiers at this point.

BL : A little bit. I'm not a certified instructor or coach yet, although I'd like to get my Level II coaching. But I've gone out with Phil Chew when he's held his talent identification camps where people get their first taste of racing. I hang out with them and ski with them, and help them where I can.

Pique : Why did you make the move to Whistler almost three years ago?

BL : Well I'm originally from Mission, and I was driving up here all the time to go to training camps, and the skiing is just so convenient and huge.

It was actually when I heard that Toronto wasn't getting the summer Olympics, I figured that if Vancouver won then everything would just unfold for me in a big way, so I took a chance.

Pique : What do you think of the facilities in town? Is it easier to be here and get coaching and support, and to be able to race against other disabled athletes?

BL : Yeah, and it's just the level of everything. The level of coaching and support we get is just a lot more intense than you can find anywhere else.

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