Chasing a new sporting dream: Former star goalie takes on the kayaking world – Ottawa Sun

Breadvertcrumb Path Hyperhyperlinks Sports activities Olympics Hockey For Lots of his life, Gabe Ferron-Bouius was opening esure by what he was doing on frozen water with a goalie stick in his hand. Author of the article: Ken Wres…….

For Lots of his life, Gabe Ferron-Bouius was opening esure by what he was doing on frozen water with a goalie stick in his hand.

Author of the article:

Ken Wrestleren Kayaker Gabe Ferron-Bouius. Photograph by Matthew Abbott /Fb

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For Lots of his life, Gabe Ferron-Bouius was opening esure by what he was doing on frozen water with a goalie stick in his hand.

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For the previous yr, he has been pushing his limits and opening doorways Collectively with his efforts on open water with a kayak padvertdle in his hand.

A Nepean Highschool scholar who turned 18 in March, Ferron-Bouius is busy placing in his final strokes earlier than the 2021 ICF ParaCanoe/Kayak World Cup at Szeged, Hungary, in Might.

After solely critically Taking over kayaking On the Rideau Canoe Membership final summer time, he has a shot at qualifying for the Paralympic Video games at Tokyo from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

“For me, being on the youthful facet of the athletes, I’m wanting in the direction of 2024 and 2026, prolonged-distance, however, if factors happen earlier, good,” he sassist in a telephone interview from Burnaby, B.C., the place he’s teaching with Canadverta’s nationwide canoe and kayak squadverts.

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Kayaker Gabe Ferron-Bouius. Ferron-Bouius hadvert his proper foot amputated as a baby and primary surgical procedure as a toddler. Photograph by Rich Lam /Canoe Kayak Canadverta

“It’s about Long time period enchancment and persevering with to get greater at extreme efficiency.”

Ferron-Bouius has An excellent deal of historic previous on that entrance. Nofactor has stopped him from chasing his elite sports goals.

He was recognized with fibular hemimelia — a shortening or absence of a fibula — at delivery, and his proper foot and ankle didn’t develop correctly.

He beneathwent primary surgical procedure at 9 months previous, Collectively with his foot take awayd and his heel padvert hooked up to his tibia. He was matchted for his first prosthetic leg as a toddler and stored turning to sports, thriving in everyfactor from rugby to final Frisbee to volleyball to badvertminton to snowboarding.

The primary love was hockey, although, and he excelled as a Triple-A goaltender, advertvancing All of the biggest Method to play for the Kanata Lasers beneath-18 squadvert in 2018-19, working in the direction of what he hoped Might be a college scholarship.

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“I like having fun with sports with pals and it’s not A few incapacity,” he sassist. “It’s about How are you going to play these sports and get greater On them.

Gabe Ferron-Bouius, 14, was invited to apply with the 67’s. His common club group is The primary Bantam AA Cumberland Gradverts. Photograph by Chris Hofley /Ottawa 67’s

“Hockey was my primary sport since I used to be eight yrs previous And that i performed extreme-diploma, in a place-bodied hockey with my friends. The subsequent yr, although, (Kanata) went youthful And that i didn’t make that group. I madverte A selection To level out my consideration to one factor else and kayak was one factor to fill the time.”

Ferron-Bouius hadvert attended A huge-ranging Paralympic teaching camp in 2016 and says “it was On A daily basis one factor Behind my thoughts” that he could probably pursue.

He took to kayak like a fish to water, leaping to faster, extra streamlined boats in A rush.

“He acquired here up pretty quick,” sassist Reid Farquharson, Under-18 High Performance Leadvert On the Rideau Canoe Membership. “Last June, he was timed at 1:02 Inside the 200 metres and within a month and a half he hadvert reduce off 10 seconds.”

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The occasions acquired faster and faster. Aprolongedside The biggest method, Ferron-Bouius has experimented with completely different prosthetics —“I’m nonetheless figuring it out. I’ve hadvert three or 4 completely different iterations” — To Search out Definitely one of the biggest match Inside the kayak.

“I stayed on the water (in Ottawa) As prolonged as I could and padvertdled till it was snowing, however, being from Ontario, padvertdling by way of the winter isn’t an selection,” he sassist of the transfer To practice with the nationwide group in B.C., the placeas ending Gradverte 12 on-line.

Kayaker Gabe Ferron-Bouius. Photograph by Maryn Sommerfeldt /Canoe Kayak Canadverta

As a Outcome of of COVID-19, there have been restricted alternatives to race in worldwide regattas, however, based mostly on his occasions the placeas teaching in B.C., Ferron-Bouius was invited to compete On the earth championships in Hungary.

“It’s the mecca for The sport, it’s their hockey,” Farquharson sassist.

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Meanthe placeas, the househprevious again in Ottawa — mom Aimee Ferron, father Derek Bouius, youthful brother Emery and youthful sister Zahra — have been watching enchancments from afar.

As a Outcome of of pandemic restrictions, there’s no alternative To go to B.C., to journey to Hungary, or to Tokyo if he qualifies for the Video games.

“It shocks me, After which it doesn’t shock me,” Derek Bouius sassist. “At a sure level, it’s simply what he Desires to do, and that’s not a shock. Different occasions, I step again and assume That is pretty particular To have The power To Do this.”

There’s An excellent deal of exhausting work involved. Ferron-Bouius practices twice a day, six days Every week, each on-water and off-ice.

“It’s his first time competing in a Para Sport,” Aimee Ferron sassist. “Every other time, it was in a place-physique, together with the Triple-A hockey, and he went to the nationwides in final.

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“You Ought to have a sure pure capability for constructive, however he’s carried out everyfactor he can To reinformationrce. He was properly Aware of On A daily basis requirements he needed To fulfill and did all the evaluation. It’s pretty thrilling. At first he didn’t know whether or not he would get Shut to these occasions.”

Rising up, there was by no means any fear of him making an try A mannequin new sport.

“No, by no means,” Ferron sassist. “He was so agile, he hadvert such a good angle, and he was prepared to try somefactor.”

All by way of his life, Ferron-Bouius says his motivation has been deeply private, a matter of difficult himself To reinformationrce at no matter sport he’s competing in.

He can’t say enough Regarding the assist he has acquired aprolonged The biggest method.

“Wrestle Amps have been An unrestricted An factor of my life They typically’ve provided monetary and Different types of assist,” he sassist. “Particularly For youngsters with amputations to be themselves and do what They Want to do, So as that a incapacity Isn’t A disadvertvantage for them.”

Ferron-Bouius didn’t primarily set out of be A process mannequin, however, if his successes in sport assist encourage others, he’s excited at With The power to make a distinction.

“I’m internally motivated simply To raised myself,” he sassist. “I Actually need to push to see whOn the physique can do and to current other Individuals with bodily disabilities whOn They will obtain.

“A lot Of people don’t see whOn They will do. They see being disin a placed as not With The power to compete and Benematch from The sports. But, sure, You will Have The power to try.”

For Ferron-Bouius, the world Is Full of alternative.

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