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Cable ending Paralympic run

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Submitted photoTruckee resident Candace Cable pulls a disabled child on her cross-country skis at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Center last Saturday in a Turning Point Tahoe event. Cable will be competing in her final Paralympic Games next week.
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At 51 years young, Candace Cable is content enough with her athletic accomplishments to call this year’s Paralympic Winter Games her last.

“It’s just time to move on,” said Cable, a motivational speaker and world-class disabled athlete from Truckee. “I’ve been to 10 [Paralympic Games], so it’s just time to try to give back. People in the community have been so good to me over the years. I really want to thank them and continue to work in the community.

“My goal is to get everybody feeling good and outside playing.”

Before devoting her time solely to the community that has embraced her, however, Cable will compete in Italy ” at the same venue as the 2006 Winter Olympics ” in attempt to add hardware to her impressive collection of medals.

In all, Cable has earned 14 of them: Nine gold, two bronze and a silver in the Paralympic Winter Games and two bronze medals in the Paralympic Summer Games.

This year she’s vying for four more in cross-country, in the 2.5 K, 5K, 10K and the relay, where she will be joined by teammates from Colorado and Minnesota. While finding her niche in the Nordic events, Cable has tried her hand at four of the five disciplines the Paralympic Winter Games offer ” Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, ice hockey, curling and the biathlon.

But Cable, who competed in the brutally taxing Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon World Championships in October of 2004, is all about physically demanding sports.

“I’ve tried all of [the events] but curling,” she said. “I was on the team for alpine one year, but I enjoy endurance sports more.”

Because this is her last Paralympic Winter Games, Cable said the experience will hold extra meaning.

“It will take on a very different feel,” she said. “I want to enjoy every aspect of it, no matter what happens.”

In giving back to the community, Cable said she would like to spend more of her energy focusing on her non-profit organization, called Turning Point Tahoe.

The non-profit is one of four chapters under the umbrella of Turning Point, a national organization out of Texas that has been in existence for 25 years ” every one of which Cable has a been a part of. The organization encourages participation in outdoor recreation ” such as fishing, camping and boating ” for people in wheelchairs, Cable said.

The other three chapters under Turning Point are in Tennessee, North Carolina and Oklahoma, making hers the only one on the West coast.

“It’s very small because it’s just starting,” Cable said of Turning Point Tahoe. “We’re still trying to raise funds.”

The Tahoe chapter also offers Nordic skiing, among other activities, and Cable said she would like to work in alliance with local organizations for the physically disabled that already exist, such as the Tahoe Adaptive Ski School at Alpine Meadows.

“I’d like to funnel people towards them and create new opportunities through my cross-country program,” she said.

In an example of community support, a group of students from Truckee Meadows Community College are helping Cable design a logo and put together marketing materials for Turning Point Tahoe. Cable said she is also thankful for the support she has received from Hertz, which, located at the Truckee Airport, has provided a vehicle for her since hers took a dump at the end of January.

Cable has another business called Advancing our Abilities, which “uses disabilities as a model to teach kids that they always have option,” Cable said. “The program is really about teaching kids about possibilities. There’s always a way to do something if it doesn’t work out.”

In working with Alder Creek Middle School seventh-grade teacher Jan Brittain, Cable has already given presentations to two classes, and hopes to expand from there.

With funding provided by Excellence in Education, all seventh-grade teachers at the middle school soon will be able to use the materials in their own classrooms, she said.

“My goal with the program is to have it become a kit, with books, posters, videos and all the lessons at no cost to schools across the country,” Cable said. “Then teachers could do it on their own. It would stay at the school and they could use it every year.”

The Paralympic Winter Games begin March 10 and conclude March 19. The Web site http://www.ParalympicSport.tv will have live coverage


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