15 Athletes That Will Make You Wish You'd Watch the Paralympics

15 Athletes That Will Make You Wish You'd Watch the Paralympics

2018 PyeongChang Paralympics

Dan Cnossen- Nordic Skiing- US

Cnossen is a Navy Seal veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor from the Secretay of the Navy for his service in combat. He was injured while serving the United States of America in Afganistan after 9/11. In the PeyongChang Cnossen was able to represent his country in a new way, earning his spot on several podiums. In total Cnossen came away from these Paralympic games with one gold, four silvers, and one bronze. Yup, all in one Olympics.

Sini Pyy-Alpine Skiing- Finland

Not only did Pyy win the first medal for Finland in these Paralympic games, she also received the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award. This award is given to one female and one male athlete who embodies the spirit of PyongChang 2018 and the Paralympic values. The individuals' contribution back to society and back to the Paralympic Movement is also considered. Congratulations Sini!

Sini Pyy

Adam Hall- Alpine Skiing- New Zealand

Hall is the male recipient of the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award for his work in the New Zealand disabled community. Hall also won a bronze medal in the sitting super combined Alpine skiing. Congratulations Adam!

Adam Hall

Bibian Mentel- Snowboarding- Netherlands

Mentel won gold snowboarding cross in PeyongChang, what a woman. Mentel is a cancer survivor, what an amazing woman. Mental finished her cancer treatment two months before competing in PyeongChang where, as stated before, she won gold. This woman is unstoppable. Honestly, she's my new hero. This is the second time Mentel is winning gold in this sport, having earned it in Sochi as well where the sport was debut in the Paralympics. Mentel also has her Mentality Foundation (hehe, good one Bibian), where children with disabilities are encouraged to take part in board sports including snowboarding and skateboarding.

Oksana Masters- Nordic Skiing- USA

In just the PyeongChang Olympic games alone Masters has come away with three medals, she earned gold in the 5km cross-country, silver in the 6km biathlon, and bronze in the 12km cross-country. Masters has participated in all the Paralympics since the London games, in London she competed in rowing and in Rio she competed in cycling. Overall she has earned two gold, three silver, and three bronze over her four Olympic games. Masters was also the flag bearer for the United States in the closing ceremony.

Aaron Pike- Nordic Skiing- USA

Aaron Pike lost the use of his legs at thirteen due to a hunting accident and since then has entered the world of adaptive sports, and in PyongChang came in 7th in the biathlon. Pike may not have come home with a medal, but he is a four-time Olympian, competing in both the summer and winter games since London 2012. For the Summer Games Pike participates in the marathon.

Also fun fact. Okansa Masters and Aaron Pike are dating. What a power couple.

Don't lie to me, you know it's cute.

Men's American Hockey Team

The American men's hockey team left the PeyongChang Paralympics with a gold medal. This is the third Winter Paralympics in a row and the fourth gold for the team overall. The American sled hockey team is now recognized as the most decorated sled hockey team.

Alexandr Kolyadin- Cross-Country Skiing- Kazakhstan

Kolyadin is a snow sculpture by day and a Paralympic cross-country skier by night. Kolyadin won the first gold medal for Kazakhstan in the Winter Paralympics.

Canadian Curling Team

The Canadian wheelchair curling team (Marie Wright, Dennis Theissen, Ina Forrest, and Mark Ideson) have been nicknamed "the comeback kids" as it seems they can rally for a victory at the Paralympic games. This team is a pretty tight night too, Wright stated "We're just all a family. Our families became a family and on the ice, we were just like a family. It's going to be hard to go back home." The Canadians won bronze in PeyongChang, Ideson was quoted saying "Bronze in the game nobody wants to play in. You want gold. So it's really hard to get up for this game after the disappointment of losing the semifinal. Bet we were able to fight. It's special." Canda has won gold in this event for the past three Paralympic games, so it's easy to see where this disappointment is coming from, but hey they're the comeback kids. We haven't seen the end of them.

Jeroen Kampschreur- Alpine Skiing- Netherlands

On March 13 Kampschreur stunned the world when he won the first alpine medal for the Netherlands by winning gold in the men's sitting. Dressed in the recognizable bright orange Kampschreur crossed the finish line, while 27 other athletes were unable to finish the super-G, including several gold medal favorites.

Evan Strong -Snowboarding- U.S.A.

Evan Strong grew up in Hawaii and by 17 was well on his way to having a career as a professional skateboarder. Then, just 10 days before his 18th birthday he was riding his motorcycle and hit by a drunk driver. The accident resulted in him having a partial amputation of his left leg. He moved to Lake Tahoe in 2007 where he learned how to snowboard and since then Strong has dominated the para snowboarding world. He won silver in PeyongChang.

Henrieta Farkasova and Natalia Subrtova- Alpine Skiing- Slovakia

Henrieta Farkasova is Slovakia's most successful athlete, she is also visually impaired and competes with Natalie Subrtova as her guide. Farkasova, with Subrtova guiding her, won gold in the downhill, super-G, super combined, and giant slalom, and silver in the slalom. Farkasova wasn't overly pleased with her silver medal performance saying "I am very sorry, as I promised gold to Natalie. It did not happen in Vancouver, nor in Sochi. I apologize to you for breaking the promise I gave you." Subtrova doesn't look that upset to me and this partnership seems to be an award on its own.

a female vision impaired skier and her guide raise their arms in celebration

Seriously look at these two back in 2014. You can't help but smile can you?

Brian McKeever- CrossCountry Skiing- Canada

In 2010 McKeever made history when he was named to both the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team. Over the past four years, McKeever has won 14 medals, with various guides, as he is visually impaired, and at one point was guided by his brother Robin McKeever. Robin, an Olympic skier in his own right, has since retired as Brian's first guide. Of McKeever's medals he has 10 gold, the most victories of any Canadian winter Paralympian, he has also competed in every world championship since 2003 and has won 19 titles.

Here is Brian McKeever in the center, his current guide Graham Nishikawa on his left, and Collin Cameron who won bronze in the 4x2.5km open relay cross-country. This picture was so cute I couldn't resist.

Brenna Huckaby- Snowboard- U.S.A.

Huckaby was originally a competitive gymnast but then at 14 she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, and her right leg had to be amputated right above the knee. Her parents helped her search around for a sport to keep her active, to give her purpose, and they finally found snowboarding. She was 19 when she went to the 2015 Para Championships and won gold in snowboard-cross and silver slalom. She took 2016 off to give birth to her daughter, Lilah, and in 2017 came back with a vengeance she got gold in both and in PyeonChang we came home with two gold Paralympic medals. Huckaby was recently featured in the Sports Illustrated 2018 Swimsuit edition saying she wanted to promote body positivity to amputees (coolest mom ever). Huckaby is newly engaged and currently a full-time athlete, full-time mother, and a part-time college student. She doesn't get a lot of sleep and she admits that she has to work harder than other athletes, but she also admits that it all makes her a better competitor.

Menna Fitzpatrick and Jen Kehoe- Alpine Skiing- Great Britain

Great Britan came to the PeyongChang Paralympic games with a medal goal of seven but came away with twelve. Which is partly because of alpine skier Fitzpatrick and her guide and army officer Kehoe. Fitzpatrick, just 19, and Kehoe, 31, use headsets to stay connected on the course and Kehoe wears bright colors as Fitzpatrick has just about three percent of her vision. One the last day of the Paralympic games Fitzpatrick and Kehoe won gold, Britain's first for these games, and Britain's second ever. They had already won two silver in the super combined and giant slalom and bronze in the super-G. Fitzpatrick and Kehoe are now Britain's most decorated winter Paralympians.

Men and Jen

Those are just 15 of the 569 Paralympians who competed. Each and every one of those athletes has the dedication of any other Olympian but also an extra struggle they had to overcome.

So there. Don't you wish you'd watched the Olympics.

Cover Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b6/The_PyeongChang_2018_Paralympic_Winter_Games_Emblem.svg/1200px-The_PyeongChang_2018_Paralympic_Winter_Games_Emblem.svg.png

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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The First Time My Mistakes No Longer Controlled My Life

Mistakes suck, and though I've conquered a few, I'm still learning.


The whistle blows as the team cheers on.

My heart pounds as if it will burst out of my chest at any given moment and I taste the salty sweat trickling down my face. I must serve over the net, I must get it in, I must ace my opponent or I will fail. Fear.

In his first inaugural speech, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously stated, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Such a statement proves powerful to the matured minds of society; however, in the minds of some adolescents, this declaration appears somewhat foolish, as numerous "threats" ignite fear, thus causing teens to grow anxious.

A major cause for fear in the rising generation takes form in failure. In the eyes of these people, making a simple mistake paves the way towards absolute failure; therefore, perfectionists constantly walk on eggshells attempting to do the impossible: avoid human error. This mentality gives way to constant stress and overall disappointment, as perfection does not apply to human beings. If one can come to the realization that not one person can attain perfection, they can choose to live life in ease, for they no longer have to apply constant pressure upon themselves to master excellence. The fear of failure will no longer encumber their existence, and they can overcome situations that initially brought great anxiety. I too once put great pressure on myself to maintain perfection, and as a result, felt constantly burdened by my mistakes. However, when I realized the inevitability of those mistakes, it opened the door for great opportunities. The first time I recognized that failure serves as a tool for growth allowed me to no longer fear my mistakes, and instead utilize them for my own personal growth.

The whistle blows as the team cheers on. My heart pounds as if it will burst out of my chest at any given moment, and I taste the salty sweat trickling down my face. I must serve over the net, I must get it in, I must ace my opponent. As hard as I try, I fail; as the ball flies straight into the net and thuds obnoxiously onto the gym floor, so does my confidence. I feel utter defeat, as I know my fate. My eyes water as my coach immediately pulls me from the game, sits me on the bench, and tells me to "get my head into the game" instead of dwindling on past errors. From then on I rarely step foot on the court, and instead, ride the bench for the remainder of the season. I feel defeated. However, life does not end, and much to my surprise, this mistake does not cause failure in every aspect of my life. Over time, I gradually realize that life does not end just because of failure. Instead, mistakes and failure pave the way toward emotional development and allows one to build character. In recognizing that simple slip-ups do not lead to utter failure, I gain perspective: one's single mistake does not cause their final downfall. Thus, this epiphany allowed for my mental growth and led me to overcome once challenging obstacles.

Instead of viewing mistakes as burdens, one should utilize them as motivation for future endeavors. The lesson proves simple: all can learn from their mistakes. However, it is a matter of choosing to learn from these mistakes that decide one's future growth. Instead of pushing faults away, I now acknowledge them in order to progress. Before coming to such a realization, I constantly "played it safe" in sports, fearing that giving my best effort would lead to greater error. I did not try, and as a result, I rarely failed.

Although such a mentality brought forth limited loss in terms of overall team success, it also brought forth limited, individual success. Today, fear of failure no longer controls life on the court. I use my mistakes as motivation to get better; instead of dwindling on an error made five minutes prior, I focus on the form needed to correct it. As a result, skills will constantly improve, instead of regress. Thus, errors serve as blessings, as it is through these errors in which one can possess the motivation to better themselves.

For some, fear acts as an ever-present force that controls every aspect of life. In particular, the fear of failure encumbers perfectionists, as the mere thought of failing causes great anxieties. In the past, I have fell victim to the fear of committing a mistake, and as a result, could not go through life without feeling an overwhelming sense of defeat. However, in a moment of what appeared to be a great failure, I finally recognized that life does not end due to one mistake, let alone one million. Instead, mistakes pave the way toward personal development and provide essential motivation to succeed in everyday life. Without mistakes, it proves difficult to grow in character. One must first learn to accept their faults before they can appreciate their best qualities. Thus, the fear of failure inhibits the growth of an individual; therefore, all must come to the realization that essentialness of mistakes, as they allow for the further development of overall character.

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