Truckee Paralympians return home
It’s no secret Truckee produces more Winter Olympic athletes than the average American town ” and there’s no exception when it comes to the Paralympics Winter Games.
With the March 10 through 19 competition behind them, Truckee’s Candace Cable and Kevin Bramble had a chance to reflect upon their experiences at the 2006 Paralympics, held at the Olympic venue in Sestriere, Italy.
“It was great. I had a great time,” said Bramble, a 33-year-old Alpine skier who defended his downhill title from the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City with another gold medal ” and was clocked at around 55 mph on his way to the finish line. “My races were early (the first day and fourth day), so I really got to soak up the medal and have some fun and relax. I just cruised around and celebrated and absorbed the Italian culture.”
Bramble ” who lived in Truckee for the last seven years but now says, “I don’t know where I live. I’m kind of floating all around” ” also placed 10th in the super-G, his second and final race of the Games.
Coming off his second Paralympic Winter Games, with as many gold medals, Bramble said he is just getting started.
“I’ll definitely be continuing on in Vancouver (in 2010), for sure,” he said.
Not so for Cable, 51, who is calling it quits after her 10th Paralympic Games. And while she did not medal this time around in the four cross-country races she competed in ” she finished seventh in the relay, eighth in the 2.5K, ninth in the 10K and 10th in the 5K ” Cable has earned plenty of Paralympic hardware.
In all, she has collected 14 medals: nine gold, two bronze and a silver in the Paralympic Winter Games and two bronze medals in the Paralympic Summer Games. It’s not surprising, then, that walking away with zero medals in her final Games brought mixed emotions she called “bittersweet.”
“I absolutely skied the best I could. Sure, I would have loved to win a medal, but that was just not there for me,” Cable said.
“I’ve competed in 10 Paralympic Games and this was the last one. So how I did was good enough for me. I went in there feeling like I was healthy and strong and ready to race as hard as I could. And I’m really satisfied with my performance.
“I also got the opportunity to spend this last event with a lot of friends and say ‘goodbye.’ It was a pleasure.”
The Paralympic Winter Games are held every four years after, and at the same venue, as the Winter Olympics. Events include Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, ice hockey, curling and the biathlon.
Cable said she is selling her Paralympic uniforms from the opening, closing and medal ceremonies ” the same uniforms athletes wore during the 2006 Winter Olympics ” to raise money for her non-profit organization, Turning Point Tahoe. Those interested can reach Cable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Bramble designs and fabricates the equipment he and most of his competitors ride. His equipment brand is called Kevin Bramble Goods.
“I developed it for the 2002 Paralympics, and since I won there, people started inquiring about it,” he said.
A former snowboarder, Bramble designs the sit ski’s suspension to suit the freeriding style he enjoys most while also generating the speed for racing.
“It’s for both, really,” he said. “It works well for speed events because it absorbs the terrain well.”
But the original concept was strictly freeriding.
“I built what I ride for ripping around,” Bramble said. “(Freeriding) is really my true passion. I think that’s what sets me apart from the competition.”
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