Athlete strives for success
Published Friday, September 14, 2012 5:25PM MDT
Thirteen years ago Kasey Holbertson fell and broke her neck while riding her snowboard in Fernie.
The injury was devastating and left her a quadriplegic at the age of 21.
“The year after I was injured I got back out on the hill and tried sit skiing and that was sort of the game changer that made me realize you know all of these things that I can't do anymore, well here’s something that I can do,” said Holbertson.
Holbertson is now 34 and is a coordinator with the Canadian Paraplegic Association.
She has not let her accident stop her from achieving her goals and has found a new passion in hand cycling.
“I’m able to do so many things now that I never thought was possible, “said Holbertson. “Not having full use of my hands, having to hold onto the bike was a little bit challenging but I got over that and then its just really nice to have an outlet and be able to exercise outside.”
Holbertson is now racing and last month at the provincials she completed 93 percent of the national team standard in the 15 kilometre time trial.
“The girl that beat her last year by a lap was 200 metres behind her at the finish in the road race,” said Stephen Burke, Head Coach, National Cycling Centre, “It was a slow start but this past year we've really stepped things up and she's come a long way.”
“I used to like speed and now I can actually harness that and I’m more careful about it. I guess I know things can go wrong but being able to go faster and just compete with an able bodied person or be able to go on a bike ride with an able bodied person and keep up with them. It’s a pretty cool feeling,” said Holbertson.
Her goal now is to make the national team and then qualify for the next summer Paralympics.
“Ever since I was younger I wanted to be a pro athlete and I thought my dream was gone. It was shattered and I now realize it’s now been redirected and I’ll be competing in a different sport that I originally thought,” said Holbertson.
For her tenacity and fearless focus, Kasey Holbertson is the CTV Calgary Athlete of the Week for Friday, September 14, 2012.