Prospective Paralympian hoping to raise money for new bike
CTVNews.ca Staff with a report from CTV Calgary's Stephanie Wiebe
Published Monday, December 31, 2018 8:16AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2018 2:11PM EST
A fall that left her partially paralyzed didn’t stop Kara Douville from pursuing her dreams – so why should the need for a piece of new equipment?
Kara Douville has turned to crowdfunding to try and raise the money she needs for a handcycle that could bring her one step closer to competing for Canada at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
It’s a goal she’s had since 2013, when she fell eight metres while rock climbing in Canmore, Alta., and was paralyzed from the waist down.
Douville took up paracycling after her fall, started training at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, and is now considered one of Canada’s top performers in the sport.
“To be able to compete for Canada seems really surreal and crazy,” she told CTV Calgary.
“I would never have imagined to be in that place, but I’m super grateful.”
Qualifying for the Paralympics isn’t easy. Douville believes her chances would be better with a lighter handcycle designed for racing instead of the standard model she currently uses. She says it would improve her speed by up to 10 per cent, but the $16,000 price tag makes it unaffordable for Douville on her own.
“It’s not your average bike,” the university student said.
Douville’s family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of the bike. As of Monday afternoon, more than $11,000 of the $16,000 had been raised.