Veteran wheelchair racer Diane Roy looks for second medal of Gold Coast games - InfoNews

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Veteran wheelchair racer Diane Roy looks for second medal of Gold Coast games

Canadian wheelchair racer Diane Roy, from Sherbrooke, Que., poses for a photo during the team training session for the Commonwealth Games Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. At 47, Canadian wheelchair racer Diane Roy keeps winning medals. The veteran from Sherbrooke, Que., earned bronze Tuesday in the women's T54 1,500 metres in her fifth Commonwealth Games. After winning the event in 2010 and collecting silver in 2014, she now has a complete set of games medals.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
April 12, 2018 - 5:00 AM

GOLD COAST, Australia - At 47, Canadian wheelchair racer Diane Roy keeps winning medals.

The veteran from Sherbrooke, Que., earned bronze Tuesday in the women's T54 1,500 metres in her fifth Commonwealth Games. After winning the event in 2010 and collecting silver in 2014, she now has a complete set of games medals.

On Sunday, she will look to add to that in the marathon, the first time the para version has been held at the games.

"If it's not 100, it's close to (it)," she said of her marathon count. "I did a lot."

Roy, who became a paraplegic in 1988 at age 17 when she fell off an all-terrain vehicle, may have passed the milestone already but admits her record-keeping is not perfect.

She plans to add to the number, whatever it is.

"I just go year by year now," she said of her racing career. "If I have the passion, I will continue."

She says results will ultimately determine her competitive future. But so far, there has been no letdown — she notes she set a Canadian record in the 1,500 last year.

"I'm still there. So it's hard to leave," she said.

She trains five days a week at home, sometimes with two sessions a day.

Roy has cut back on work in recent years and the extra time has resulted in improved performances. But that doesn't mean her schedule is any easier.

"I have a little one now so I have to manage everything. That's the hard part — to have to travel and leave him at home," she said of her three-year-old son Emile, who is at the games with her sister.

The wheelchair racing icon has been breaking in a new type of glove since September, saying it has taken time to acclimate to the new gear. The New York marathon in November "was very bad." But things turned around in December.

"Now it's going very well," she said.

The test will come on the final day of the Gold Coast Games. Roy likes the look of the marathon course, which is flat. And she likes the heat.

Roy also competed at the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 Commonwealth Games. She is a bag fan of the games, given that para- and able-bodied sports are part of the same program.

Rio represented her sixth Paralympic Games, with a career medal haul of two silver medals in 2004 and one silver and two bronze in 2008.

She was presented with gold after winning the 5,000 in Beijing. But the International Paralympic Committee ordered a re-race after protests concerning a crash. Roy had to give her medal back and ended up with silver.

Given the nickname of The Warhorse by the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Roy counts Chicago and the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon in Japan has her two favourites.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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