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July 7, 2014
The other side of the medal: BC Para-alpine athletes hang up their sit-skis to focus on their post athletic careers; Ben Thompson and Caleb Brousseau are retiring after successful Para-alpine careers.

(ISN) – Vancouver (B.C) – Ben Thompson was born with a little known but one of the most common inherited neurological disorders, Charcot Marie Tooth. Thompson discovered ski racing when he met long time, now retired BC Para-alpine Ski Team (BCPAST) head coach, Phil Chew. Joining the team in 2008, he was hooked on racing and was named to the Canadian Para-alpine Ski Team (CPAST) Prospect team in 2012. Ben will transition into his post-athletic career by starting his own business making custom seating and fairings for para-skiers as well as joining BC Adaptive Snowsports (BCAS) as a Program Coordinator to help introduce racing to a new generation of skiers.

Caleb Brousseau was injured in 2007 while snowboarding. He was introduced to Para-alpine skiing through Duncan Campbell and the Bridging the Gap program who referred Caleb to then the Disabled Skiers Association of BC and the BOB Program was born. Caleb quickly took to sit-skiing making the CPAST during the 2011-2012 season. Caleb who was a first time Paralympian during the Sochi 2014 Winter Games where he took bronze in the Super G event retires from Para-alpine competition to turn his focus on acupuncture school and his upcoming marriage to Vancouver 2010 Paralympian and former BC & Canadian Para-alpine athlete, Andrea Dziewior.

“Caleb & Ben are true success stories for us. Through grass roots programs within our BCAS communities, they were both introduced to sit-skiing, progressed their athletic career through BOB before graduating to high performance programs. I am thrilled to have Ben join our team. I can’t think of anyone better to convey what our programs are all about.” says Wayne Leslie, Executive Director of BC Adaptive Snowsports.

Ben and Caleb will be 2 of many past BC athletes in attendance at the Black Diamond Gala on September 26th. The Gala which will help raise funds for snowsport programs benefiting people with disabilities throughout BC will feature a tribute to long time BC Para-alpine ski team coach, Phil Chew.