'I always want to win': amputee inspires on the badminton court
Published Saturday, November 7, 2015 10:08PM EST
At six, Stephane Boily lost his left leg to cancer. But the Quebec native has never let that slow him down, or interfere with his love of sports.
Now 44, Boily doesn't use a prosthetic, but instead has adopted a unique “hopping” technique on the court and playing field.
"At six years old, I began to play hockey with my friends on the street," he said.
"So I jumped all the time, I didn't think about what people would think. I fell, I got up, I fell, I got up."
Eventually, Boily adapted his movements to play soccer, baseball, football and more recently, badminton.
In a game that requires exceptional hand-eye co-ordination and quick reflexes, Boily has thrived.
"I think I'm good," he says with a laugh.
In his job as a pharmacist, Boily often stands for periods of time, with just some help of his crutches.
Once he's on the badminton court, the 44-year-old has no trouble returning birdies flying at close to 100 kilometres per hour.
Considering quick feet and agility are also crucial, many assume that Boily is at a disadvantage.
"I heard about him before I came to play here,” fellow badminton player Francois Renaud told CTV News. “It can't be, how does a guy with two crutches come in and play badminton?"
And while some competitors take it easy on Boily at first, they often find out the hard way that they shouldn't underestimate an opponent.
"He is quite better than I am for sure," Renaud said.
"The way this guy can … stretch and get to the (birdie) is quite something."
Beyond that, it is Boily’s competitive spirit that helps him even the odds.
"I always want to win,” Boily said. “I always have to give the best of me (and) do the best that I can.”
With a report from CTV's Vanessa Lee