Whitson Ready For Sochi

Derek Whitson on Lake Louise

Derek Whitson on Lake Louise

Chatham’s Derek Whitson is in Sochi, Russia and ready to compete with Canada’s Sledge Ice Hockey team in the 2014 Paralympics.

Canada and Whitson will face Sweden March 8, Norway March 9, and the Czech Republic March 11 in pool play.

Playing in his second Paralympics, Whitson and Canada are ready to strike revenge after missing out on a medal on home soil in Vancouver in 2010.

“I have no medal to show for from Vancouver, and might not ever get another chance to get a medal on home soil in the Paralympics,” Whitson explained in a prior interview with CKSN.

“We have a lot of Paralympics first timers coming into this event. More than half the team, but I believe in these guys. We have a lot of experience together and we all want the same result. The atmosphere in the Paralympics is different from any other tournament we have been in,” continued Whitson, who deals with cerebral palsy.

Canada began a training camp weeks ago in Alberta, including an outdoor shinny game on Lake Louise, and arrived in Sochi a week prior to the start of competition. Whitson, an Ursuline College graduate, knows the pressure has never been greater for Canada to win gold at these Paralympic Games.

“The pressure is on and it can be overwhelming at times. But in the end the game is still the same. We have one job to do and I know once we throw those jerseys on and wear that crest we will be ready and nothing else will matter.”

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