Its taken a lot of hard work in a short period of time, but Whistlers Tyler Mosher is one step closer to his goal of making the national team with the recent confirmation that he was selected to join the 2006 Cross Country Canada Para-Nordic Development Team.
"I thought last year at a race in Germany that I would have made the national team, but Im pretty close. I knew I made the cut for the development team with the requirements they have," said Mosher.
Being on the national development team means funding and support from Cross Country Canada, which will enable him to compete in World Cup events in Europe next season. He also plans to race in the world championships at Mt. Washington.
Mosher has a form of incomplete paralysis following a snowboard accident in 2000 that allowed him to retain the muscles in the front of his legs. He has since adapted his level of ability to work, and shortly afterwards started to cross-country ski with the goal of making the national team and competing at home in 2010.
His main issue remains his classification. Because of the rarity of his type of injury and the strength of his working muscles, he competes against athletes that may have a below the knee amputation but otherwise have full muscle use on both sides of their legs. With prosthetics many of those athletes get around almost as fast as competitive able-bodied athletes.
Mosher plans to appeal his classification again at the next opportunity, but in the meantime is training to race against the athletes in his category.
"To make the national team I have to come within a certain percentage behind first place in my division, and in my case its 85 per cent then Ill be fully funded and on the senior team. Im at 81 per cent right now," he said.
Mosher has also returned to snowboarding with a few modifications to his board and bindings, with the hope that it will be a medal sport in 2010. As it currently stands it appears that snowboarding will be a demonstration sport.
Still, Moshers goal is to compete in both cross country and biathlon, and to be the best in the world in parallel giant slalom.
"Im going to be continuing to try to represent Canada in the three sports, thats the goal I set out for myself three years ago," he said.
With adaptive snowboarding not included as a medal sport, Mosher has refocused his training on cross country. During the summer he roller skis and inline skates to stay in practice, and joined Body Storm to reduce his body weight. "With snowboarding I would be able to sort of keep my build its a gravity sport so it might be good to have a little weight behind you," he joked. "But now Im training really hard, and this winter Ill be training hard for biathlon also."