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Notre Dame Medicine student hits the slopes at Paralympics
7 March 2014
With years of experience, enthusiasm, resilience and talent to boot, Toby Kane, Medicine student at The University of Notre Dame Australia's Sydney Campus, will represent Australia in alpine skiing at the 2014 Winter Paralympics.
The 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, held from 7 to 16 March, will be Toby's third Paralympics, having competed at Torino in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010. He will compete in five alpine skiing events including the 'Super G' which he claimed the bronze medal for in 2006, at which time we was only 19 and the youngest member of the Australian Paralympic Team.
Toby competes under the classification of LW2 having been involved in a car accident at the age of two, which resulted in the amputation of his lower right leg.
"Growing up with a disability, I wanted to compete with anyone at anything to prove that I could do whatever the other kids could do," Toby says.
"I played cricket and soccer, competed in swimming and played water polo. For me skiing competitively was an extension of this; I wanted to try and prove what was possible and push the boundaries of skiing on one leg. This has continued to be my inspiration throughout my skiing career; pushing the boundaries of one legged skiing."
Toby's path to Sochi has included a number of international competitions, including a win in the final World Cup event before the Paralympics, however he has also encountered challenges along the way.
"I've had a number of challenges to overcome in the lead up to Sochi, I had to work really hard this year to try and get back my lower leg strength and upper body mass after injury made it hard to go to the gym," Toby says.
Toby commenced his Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery with the School of Medicine, Sydney, in 2011 and credits strict organisation and experience for his ability to juggle study and training.
"Throughout my third year, I spent one day a week at university and four days a week at the hospital, and I had to study the course work at night and on the weekend. I would train in the gym four times a week for about an hour and a half each," Toby says.
"I think my experience in the sport has allowed me to handle this balance; I don't think I could have done it if I was relatively new to the sport."
Toby has participated in Notre Dame's Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) program providing him with additional support and study flexibility to successfully integrate his studies with training and competition.
The 2014 Winter Paralympics will be broadcast on ABC with Toby's first event on Saturday 8 March and the full schedule available from the Australian Paralympic Committee website.
Hannah Guilfoyle: Tel (02) 8204 4141; firstname.lastname@example.org