Par­a­lympic sailor dreams of gold

Cockburn Gazette - - SPORT -

COLIN Har­ri­son spends most of his days like any other lo­cal; hang­ing out with fam­ily and friends, hit­ting the wa­ter on a sunny day or work­ing at the Fre­man­tle Hospi­tal.

But for two weeks ev­ery four years, Har­ri­son trans­forms from an ev­ery­day Aus­tralian into a Par­a­lympian gun­ning for gold.

Har­ri­son was al­ready in love with sail­ing, and had been since he was a teenager, when shoul­der surgery re­vealed he had can­cer.

Af­ter 18 months of treat­ment, he re­ceived the news he was go­ing to lose his right arm.

“I was ini­tially dev­as­tated but as time passes you re­alise that new or dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties come along for the tak­ing,” he said.

“Sail­ing is one sport where peo­ple from all walks of life – young, old SUP­PORTED BY OR­ANGE AUTOS dif­fer­ing abil­i­ties – can en­joy, so this was not the end of sail­ing for me.

“I didn't sail for sev­eral years, but it wasn’t long be­fore the op­por­tu­nity to sail keel boats came along.”

Named in the Aus­tralian Par­a­lympic team, Rio 2016 will be the fourth Par­a­lympics for the lo­cal sailor, who is look­ing to add to the bronze medal he won in the mixed three-per­son Sonar in Bei­jing 2008.

Har­ri­son said he loved the chal­lenge of us­ing the wind and waves in the strate­gic chess-like rac­ing game.

“I first com­peted for Aus­tralia in 2002, when I was men­tored by Noel Robins, a Syd­ney 2000 gold medal­list,” he said.

He said his team was ca­pa­ble of go­ing a long way in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“The team is def­i­nitely ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing gold,” he said.

Colin Har­ri­son and his team in ac­tion.


Colin Har­ri­son.

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