Chantal Beauchesne is ready for Rio
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knows what to expect fromTeamBrazil, one of the other three teams in the first-round pool. Both have played against each other twice before.The Ukraine is also in that game pool and TeamCanada has had one session with that team. The Russian Federation team is themys- tery squ Chantal Beauchesne is ready for Rio ad for TeamCanada because this will be the first encounter between the two teams. But nomatter what happens. Beauchesne is just excited to be in the Games. “We’re happy to come in to the top four berth teams if we can,” she said. “But we would absolutely love to medal, for sure. I feel very confident that when we get there, we’ll be good to go.” Beauchesne has always been athletically inclined, but not in a competitive sense. She was a recreational runner, taking part in such events as the annual Army Run in Ottawa, until April 26, 2009 when her life changed. She was a passenger on a motorcycle that crashed into a hydro pole near her home- town of St-Isidore. The impact flung Beauchesne towards the post support cable, which sliced off her left leg. She considers herself lucky. If her body had been at a different angle, it could have been a fatal encounter. “Altogether, the events of my life have worked out in my favour,” she said, adding that she spent about nine weeks in hospi- tal and in rehabilitation, recovering from the accident and learning to use her new prosthetic leg. She was introduced to sea- ted volleyball during her recovery period and threw herself into it full-force, getting accepted to the national team. Beauchesne is “the barrel” of the team, singled out for her strong passing skills to help set up the ball for a winning spike.These days she is a full-time athlete, alternating between going to Alberta, where most of the teammembers live, to train, and coming home now to Petawawa where her fiancé is stationed at CFB Petawawa and where they are in the process of renovating their new house. “Life is great,” she said, laughing.
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro may be famous as the city where the sun is always shining but Team Canada is bringing the ice and snow as Chantal Beauchesne and other ath- letes put the Big Chill on the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics Games. “We’re ready to go to Rio and show them what we’remade of,” Beauchesne said, lau- ghing, during a Monday phone interview. Beauchesne is on Canada’s women’s sea- ted volleyball team. For the past six years she has competed around the world, earning bronze medals at the 2011 Pan Am Cham- pionships and the 2015 Parapan AmGames. The St-Isidore native is excited at the chance of becoming a Parlympian champion.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “I feel great. We’re all really excited. We’re looking forward to competing and also making history.” The 2016 Rio Games are the debut of women’s seated volleyball as an official Paralympic sport. Team Canada already
Chantal Beauchesne, dressed in her official TeamCanada attire, is relaxed, ready, and raring to bring the power of a Canadian winter to Rio de Janeiro as part of the women’s seated volleyball team for the 2016 Paralympics. —photos provided
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