The 2010 paralympic games recently wrapped up. By all reports, although limited, it seemed to be a well run event. The US paralympic team did well, placing 5th overall in the metal count.
Even as an avid Olympic viewer, prior to this years event in Vancouver, I hadn’t followed the paralympics, and had little understanding of Wheelchair Curling. My interest in the sport was peaked when we were approached and asked to support one of the wheelchair curlers.
Augusto “Goose” Perez, 35, has represented Team USA twice in the winter paralympic games. His first time on the team (Torino 2006) came only months after his first time ever trying the sport. Goose an avid soccer player, lost his left leg after 3 bouts with a rare cancer soft tissue sarcoma.
It’s safe to say Goose excelled at wheelchair curling, because in 2008 he was named USA Curling Male Athlete of the Year. This would mark the first time a wheelchair curler had been given the honor.
The 2008 award wasn’t Goose’s first time breaking sporting barriers. In the same year he was the first athlete with a physical disability to win gold in the outrigger canoe 500m sprint, at the World Championships.
When Goose isn’t on the ice, he would most likely be found playing with his twin children.
For Goose, like many other paralympic athletes, the love of sports and an active lifestyle don’t end with the closing ceremony. Wherever he goes, Goose trusts D’s Locks to secure his chair.