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Simon Tremblay sounds extremely happy when he talks about goalball, a sport he has been practising for five years. This athlete devotes most of his time and energy to his sport and hopes to reach, along with his teammates, the highest summits.
On the Canadian team for the past two years, Simon dreams of a Paralympic medal.
We have a lot of potential on our team, but obviously we will have to work hard if we want to achieve our ultimate goal. The other teams have quite powerful shots and we have to find the best way to beat them, explain Simon, who used to row before his tragic accident.
Though presented with a huge challenge, players of the Canadian team will first have to make it to the Paralympics. The last medal for Canadians was in 1996 at the Atlanta Games, when they came back home with silver. The team veteran, Mario Caron, was there. Because of his long experience, Mario has become a mentor for Simon.
He understands the game like no other player and he is always willing to help me in my efforts to better myself. I have many mentors in life, and Mario is one of them. He helps me love my sport!
At age 20, Simon suffered a serious accident.
I hit the back of a truck that was transporting wood logs. Unfortunately, one of the logs was sticking out and hit the windshield, which in turn fractured my skull.
In addition to losing sight, he lost his sense of smell and his left side stayed weak.
I had to spend a month in bed and wear a girdle for four months. After a series of treatments, I had to learn to live again, he relates.
Despite the hardship, the 29-year-old athlete always kept high spirits.
I have always been one to fight for what I want in life. Though I had to give up two of my five senses, I never feel sorry for myself. I don’t feel blind because I developed my own means of sensing my environment and I can get around normally, confessed the athlete who used to be a massage therapist.
After having learned again his daily routine, he took on Braille. In addition to teaching him how to read, his teacher introduced him to goalball.
What struck me at first is that everyone is the same in the game, since we all have to cover our eyes. I have found my new direction and came back to my senses!
Sports surely helped this passionate man overpass many obstacles.
Sports helped me mentally, but also physically. It helped me get back to a normal posture and to surpass myself, commented the Quebec City resident. Simon obviously used his sport not only to channel his energy but to build himself a new life.