I had the great fortune of covering para-cycling, the first ever para-triathlon, boccia, table tennis and goalball at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Cycling was the primary sport that I covered. I was extremely fortunate to cover a team that ended up earning a record number of medals.
Leading the way for that team was Tristen Chernove, who captured a gold, silver and bronze medal. The 41-year-old native of Cranbrook, B.C. was making his Games debut after only 15 months of competing on the national and international para-cycling stage.
I spoke to him and his mother, Malerie Meeker, and they said the greatest joy of partaking in the Paralympics was they became immersed in an environment where there is inspiration everywhere you look.
I kept that message with me throughout the entire 17 days of the trip, and ultimately being in the presence of athletes who personify true grit and grace is the biggest gift I received from this adventure in Brazil.
It was fantastic I got to share this inspiring experience with my classmates, and supportive faculty members of Centennial College.