Dale Clifford of the Peterborough Examiner interviewed Team Ontario members veteran Carl Bax and rookie Alec Denys, who has been persuaded to add wheelchair curling to his athletic interests alongside his Paralympic level skills in archery.
"Carl tried to get me interested in curling and eventually talked me into it," said Denys with a smile. "Curling isn't like other sports. It's more individual in archery while you are part of a team in curling. It's unique and I enjoy it. But like all sports, a big thing is the mental aspect and you have to stay focused. You can't allow any distractions."
A (non-Canadian) national coach told me recently that his recruitment would focus on athletes with established reputations in other sports. I suspect Denys represents the direction wheelchair curling at the high performance level is headed.
Coaches are looking for recruits who have demonstrated the ability to perform at an elite level, feeling that while technique in wheelchair curling is relatively easy to master, the mental toughness, desire, the willingness to sacrifice and dedicate yourself to a specific ahievement goal that marks the elite athlete, is less easy to find.
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