Paralympic Snowboard Journey
$7,020 of $30,000 goal
Losing a limb is a big pill to swallow for a young person with so many years ahead of them. Trauma effects everyone differently, some people go to a dark place where others find light. I remained in the light and turned my unfortunate situation into something positive. I'm not saying I didn't struggle because Im still struggling 4.5 years later but by focusing on the positive side of things I have been able to achieve things I wouldn't have dreamed of with two legs. I fight that ever lingering negativity and darkness everyday when I wake up and have to put my leg on just to walk to the bathroom. I am lucky though, I have a leg to put on. I can stand and walk. I can hike and climb. I can even strap into a snowboard and shred the side of a mountain. I am pushing my limits and extending the boundaries of disability in search of a quality of life that focuses on happiness. I have a rollercoaster of a story, if you're interested you can catch a glimpse of it below.
I was 23 and it was my 4th season working as a Forest Fire Ranger for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. I had been promoted to crew boss the year prior and was on my way to earning the responsibility of crew leader by the following season. I was on duty the morning of July 4th 2013 at one of our forward attack bases in northern Ontario. My crew was asked to go pick up resources (food, fuel, ice) to be delivered to another crew that was fighting a fire nearby. Our first stop was the gas station; I put my vehicle in park, circled to the back of my work truck and opened the tail-gate. I was reaching into the box to grab empty jerry cans when I was struck from behind by another vehicle. My right leg had been crushed between the receiver hitch of my truck and the bumper of the striking car. Despite the efforts of many nurses and doctors among two hospitals my right leg below the knee was amputated that evening.
Today, I am seeking financial support for my goals to compete for our national para-snowboarding team at the 2018 Paralympic games. The road to the 2018 Paralympics is a long and challenging one. In order to make my goals a reality I have had to dedicate a significant amount of time to travelling, training camps and competitions worldwide. With help from friends from GoFundMe I can have the security I need to focus on training and riding to achieve my goals to snowboard for this amazing country during the 2018 winter Paralympic Games. An average season at this level is about $30,000. I love being active, I love snowboarding, I love having access to world class mountain riding and I love pushing my limits. Please help me push my limits and strive for Paralympic success.
My name is Colton Liddle. I was born and raised on the north shore of Ontario's Lake Superior in a small town called Wawa. Growing up I was always active and participating in as many sports and activities as I could fit into my free schedule. My favourite was a sport called Adventure Racing which is a long distance orienteering challenge which includes biking, paddling and trekking/running. In high-school myself and two friends took 1st place at the provincial level against 60+ other teams. Being outside and being active are passions of mine - that passion resounds in my lifestyle, my education, and my soul.
After the accident it was my goal during rehab to return to work for the 2014 season, what stood between me and that goal was a national annual WFX-fit test. With a combination of perseverance, determination and stubbornness I passed that fitness test only 10 months after the accident. I spent my 2014 summer fighting fire in the thick of Northern Ontario’s boreal forest with a prosthetic leg. I soon discovered that the job that I had grown to love was no longer a viable career path; the challenges associated with using a prosthetic leg while fighting wildfires were just too great to still enjoy the job.
I spent my final year in Wawa exploring which passions I would follow next. Snowboarding was always an activity I had loved to do over the years, I had spent many winters through my youth and teens snowboarding the local hills around my hometown. I knew from others the snowboarding conditions of British Columbia were world class and home to the best alpine riding in Canada. I decided that snowboarding a season on the west coast was the therapy I needed. I made the move to Whistler, BC in December of 2015 to pursue my passion for snowboarding.
It was an intense struggle at first. There were days where the pain was intolerable and my residual limb was too swollen to put in my prosthetic. In the beginning I found myself taking hours on a single run from stopping due to pins and needles from nerve damage caused in the accident. Fortunately, my pain tolerance increased and my confidence grew; before long I was riding faster and better than many able bodied riders around me. My fellow riders who watched me progress encouraged me pursue a competitive career in snowboarding. I finished the season off riding 50+ days on the mountain and really satisfied with my progression and ability to ride. My dream is to proudly represent our nation as part of the Canadian National Snowboarding Team at the 2018 Paralympic games. I am on the National team as a development athlete and a prospect to attend the games this winter. With your help I’ll be able to afford the camps, travel, competitions and equipment needed to make my goals a reality. Thank you for the support, see you on the snow!
I raced in Snowboard Cross and Banked Slalom which I placed 16th and 12th respectively. I walked away from that experience happier then I entered. Thank you again, you helped me reach my goal and as a result I will be turning off donations and deactivating this page.
This was an incredible opportunity and I am honoured to have been selected to represent Canada and all of you at such global event. I will remain in sport and I expect you will see compete again.
My first Canadian training camp was the first week of November at Mt. Sima in the Yukon. Immediately following that training camp I flew to Europe to compete and train. Our first competitions were in Landgraaf Netherlands, three banked slalom cups. The competition was just as tough as last year. My best was a 15th and roughly 6 seconds behind the the top 3 riders. I know I can make up several seconds with better timed movements, I will continue focused training to have the skills to battle for the podium.
After Landgraaf we trained on the Stobai glacier near Innsbruck, Austria. This was a good break before heading up to Phya, Finland where there was only 3 hours of daylight. After training a week and a half in the dark on the SBX course that was built at Phyä, we competed in two world para SBX cups. My first event I didn't make it through qualifications because I was pushing it and losing control on the landing of the jumps. The second event I squeezed through qualifications into last and 16th place going into the first round of head to head racing. I was paired with first place in qualifiers and he was very fast, I had a hard time keeping up with him. He podiumed in both events so I am happy with my result and how I raced that day.
I am now back in Canada working and training at home in Squamish until my next round of training camp in January around BC. I'll be training at Big White, Whistler Blackcomb and Sun Peaks. If you see me out there feel free to say hi!