While out for a morning walk last Saturday, I only made it a block when I realized that the Road Cycling track for the Parapan American Games was running around and through High Park.
Luckily; I had brought my camera along. I was planning to walk along the lake and hoped to catch a few shots of sail boats. Instead, I spent the next few hours walking the route of this amazing event and cheering on the cyclists.
On the days when I am trying to hold my life together, I tap into my courage and determination to get through whatever is troubling me. Watching these athletes made me realize that I have no idea what it means to be courageous. I am merely getting things done. These inspiring people are showing the world what they can do.
The amount determination and tenacity that it takes to become a world-class athlete is huge; now add the fact that you have a physical disability or you are suffering from a debilitating disease. These athletes are truly amazing!
Not only were they cycling on a grueling road track, they has to contend with the rain that came down in small bursts all morning long.
I watch this cyclist take a steep hill with one leg that many of us cannot traverse with both. His determination and strength were inspiring.
Watching the races became a neighbourhood event. People were out on their lawns, with coffees in hand, cheering the racers as they passed. Hosting the Panam and Parapan American Games has brought excitement to our city and has made us proud to welcome the athletes to Toronto.
The Parapan American Games include athletes who are visually impaired , persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries and other athletes with a physical disability that are not included in the categories mentioned above.
The games are running from August 7-15. As of this morning, Canada had won 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 6 Bronze medals on the cycling road races.