By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
An Oshawa native has realized his dream of participating in the Paralympic Games.
Para-snowboarder Andrew Genge, who grew up in Durham Region, will compete at the upcoming games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Taking a break from his training regiment in Manning Park, B.C., Genge called his presence on Team Canada a “great honour.”
“There are 73 athletes competing and I’m one of them. I’m really excited.”
Finishing fourth at the World Cup competition in Phya, Finland in November allowed Genge to punch his ticket to PyeongChang.
He will head to South Korea on March 2 and compete in his first event on March 12.
He will limit his on-hill training during that ten-day layoff.
“I really want to save it up for the games,” he states.
After suffering a stroke in a rugby game in 2004, Genge was paralyzed on the right side of his body, left unable to walk or talk.
Lasting effects of the injury include weakness in his right hand.
“I tackled a 300-pound adolescent which went horribly wrong,” Genge wrote of the incident on his GoFundMe page. “My fractured jawbone sheered the carotid artery causing a 12 cm blood clot to form and travel up into my brain.”
Since then, Genge says he has regained around 80 per cent mobility in both his right leg and right arm.
Although told at the time of his injury he wouldn’t regain full mobility in his right side; he remained positive and undeterred.
“I was very determined to get it all back,” he told The Oshawa Express in September 2017.
Now that he has reached his goal of qualifying, Genge is setting his sights higher.
“It’s been my dream to make it to the Paralympics and to get on that podium.
I’ve gotten step one completed,” he says.