CALGARY, AB -Para-alpine sit skier Brad Lennea (Whistler, BC) and guide Emily Glossop (Ottawa, ON), who guided Kathleen Forestell (Ottawa, ON) to a World Cup medal in 2006, have announced that they will not be competing with the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team this season.
Lennea, a 36-year old Canadian para-alpine slalom champion, admitted his decision to retire was difficult with the Paralympic Winter Games coming to his hometown in 2010 but added that he’s certain it’s the right move.
“I have a problem with my back and I have been thinking about retiring for a while,” said Lennea, who represented Canada at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, ITA, finishing 11th in the downhill. “It’s really hard to deal with that and keep up a regular training and travel routine.”
“Just training or competing alone is really hard on my body physically and I just kind of decided that it would be best for me to slow down and take it easy,” said the four year veteran of Canada’s para-alpine ski team.
Lennea, who was recently selected as a torch bearer at the upcoming Paralympic Summer Games in Beijing, said he’s looking forward to taking some time off to refocus on his new goals.
“I definitely want to do some coaching certification and want to stay involved with skiing and ski racing because I feel like I have learned a lot during my time on the national team and I have a lot to give back,” said Lennea.
Glossop, 30, has been the guide for Forestell for the past four seasons.
“I have had an amazing time. It’s been an absolute pleasure and an honour to ski on the team with Kathleen. I think the most fulfilling aspect of all of this; generating that partnership with Kathleen and generating the trust and respect for each other that’s needed,” said Glossop, who missed last season with a hip injury.
Glossop remains hopeful to return to ski racing some day but admits that may not be possible.
“I’m focusing on getting my hip back to normal,” she said. “This has been a big blow and it’s a difficult thing, going from the training and travel to being injured and not able to do as much. It’s a big change.”
Glossop said winning a World Cup silver at Aspen, USA in giant slalom ranks very high on her list of career achievements, adding that racing World Cups in Europe was also a huge thrill.
She also acknowledged the support that she has received over the last season from coaches, staff, friends and family.
“Emily and I had developed excellent communication through the years together, which allowed us to be successful in a race. She was great at keeping me on the perfect line and at keeping a good distance between the two of us,” Forestell said of her teammate.
Canada’s para-alpine ski team is preparing for the upcoming World Cup season which gets underway in Spain in January. The IPC World Cup season comes to and end in Canada, with racing March 11th to 13th in Whistler, BC.
The IPC Para-Alpine World Championships take place in High 1, Korea from February 21st to March 1st.