18 March 2010
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today congratulated Viviane Forest whose outstanding performance in the women’s downhill visually impaired alpine skiing event was rewarded with a gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Led by her guide Lindsay Debou, this is Ms. Forest’s third medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
"Again and again, our athletes are showing that these are Canada's Games," said the Prime Minister. "It is with both pleasure and pride that I congratulate Viviane Forest on winning a gold medal."
Ms. Forest was born in Greenfield Park, Quebec, and now lives in Edmonton. She joined Team Canada in 2008, and she won the Crystal Globe in the ladies’ visually impaired category in her first season on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup circuit. She also won a gold medal in super combined in the 2009 IPC World Championships and was crowned Canadian champion at the 2009 Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Championships. Ms. Forest won gold in goalball at the Paralympic Summer Games in 2000 in Sydney and Athens in 2004.
The first Alpine skiing events were held in 1976 at the first Paralympic Winter Games in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The sport is open to men and women with a physical disability or visual impairment. Alpine ski events include downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom (super-G). For more information on this sport, visit the website of the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The 2010 Paralympic Winter Games are being held from March 12 to 21. More than 1,000 athletes and team officials from more than 40 countries are competing in a five-sport, 64-event competition schedule at venues in Vancouver and Whistler. Canada is represented by more than 50 athletes at the competition.