Anna Turney, Paralympic hopeful!
Anna Turney is a member of the British Disabled Ski Team, and organization that trains the top Paralympic hopefuls. While competing with the British Disabled Ski Team, she hopes to achieve her goal of competing in the Giant Slalome in the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada. Get Kids Going! has been supporting her dreams by funding her summer training trip to New Zealand last summer.
Anna Turney was born in 1979 with a dream to snowboard for the British Olympic snowboarding team. Her dream changed when she was 26. She was in a major snowboarding accident in Hokaido, Japan. After over shooting a 30 foot tabletop, Anna fell and shattered a few ribs along with injuring her T-11 and T12 vertebra. The accident left her completely unable to walk, let alone snowboard!
She underwent emergency surgery in Japan, and stayed in the hospital for five weeks until she was able to be transferred back to the UK. She spent three months at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and then spent two years doing intensive physiotherapy rehabilitation.
Anna says initially the “hardest part of the entire experience was coming to terms with not being able to snowboard again.” But after coming to terms with lost dreams, Anna struggled with the other aspects of a spinal injury. Anna had very little balance, so even simple tasks were difficult. But each time Anna did a task independently (from sitting up in a bed to tasks like transferring her chair into the car to fixing a puncture in her wheel), she felt a great sense of accomplishment. She was achieving a goal, she was getting stronger.
Anna didn’t even wait to get out of the hospital before she started thinking about how she could get back on the slopes. When she was in the hospital, she spoke to a Canadian Paralympic monoskiier who inspired her to take up skiing. After getting comfortable on her monoski, she started skiing with Disability Snow sport UK. A scout on the British Disabled Ski Team saw her talent and invited her to join the team.
While training on the British Disabled Ski Team, she improves her skills in an attempt to qualify for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics. Last month, Anna was second in the Giant Slalome at the 2009 New Zealand Winter Games which qualified her for a chance to compete in technical events in Vancouver.
During training season, Anna wakes up at 6:30 every morning to do morning yoga. Then, she will spend the rest of the day on the mountain training, only taking a break to eat. In the evening, she will take time out to fix her skis or talk to a sports psychologist about how to fine tune her training.
The best part of training to Anna is the thrill of a good run and meeting the goals she has set. The hardest part of training is being away from her loved ones so often. Especially because she just got engaged! She spends loads of time training where the best snow is, so often she is in New Zealand, Colorado, or Austria riding down the mountains.
Get Kids Going! funded Anna’s trip to New Zealand a over the summer, so Anna could compete in the 2009 New Zealand Winter games. Anna is always looking for sponsorship to fund her dreams since travelling for training is expensive. She says Get Kids Going! was a huge help to her to achieve her goals of qualifying for the 2010 Winter Paralympics. Being able to practice over the summer has kept Anna in shape after the season ends in April. Anna recommends Get Kids Going! to everyone. She is incredibly grateful and we are very pleased to be one of her sponsors.
Anna’s accomplishments include:
• Finishing second in the 2009 New Zealand winter games
• 3rd in the NorAm downhill in 2008
• 3rd in the NorAm Super G
If you want to read more about
Anna go to her website at: http://www.annaturney.com/
Read her blog: http://annaturney.blogspot.com/
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