Who would have thought that Canada’s best shot for a medal at Whistler’s slopes in 2010 would come in March?

Canada’s para-alpine team is ranked No. 1 in the world ahead of the Winter Paralympics thanks to strong recent results.

There are three classifications dividing the field of athletes: Visually impaired; standing; and sitting.

Sitting skiers use a mono-ski. That’s a chair attached to a single ski, along with outriggers, poles attached to small blades that are also used by some standing athletes.

Visually impaired skiers use the same equipment as able-bodied athletes, but follow a guide down the course.

Para-alpine head coach Jean Sebastien Labrie said first-time spectators should note the speed and athleticism of the athletes.

“It’s very fun to watch, the speed that the guys go, like visually impaired athletes going down at 120 km/h, it’s pretty impressive,” said Labrie.

“We have Lauren Woolstencroft, who is a double-amputee below the knee, and she has one arm, she’s an amazing athlete to watch, and a world champion.”

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