Disabled Vets Glide Toward Paralympic Glory


Sun Valley, Idaho

Bald Mountain from Sun Valley Lake (from Wikipedia)

"Sport made him a whole person again, more than anyone I have ever seen."

「運動讓他 (美國帕運選手) 整個人活過來了,比任何人都強。」


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U.S. Paralympic National Team member Andy Soule races during the 2013 Sun Valley Nordic Festival. (VOA/T. Banse)

Tom Banse
February 22, 2013

KETCHUM, IDAHO — The one-year countdown to the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games has begun.  

The competition for physically disabled athletes takes place directly after the Olympic Games.  

The U.S. Nordic team appears likely to be composed nearly entirely of injured military veterans, who train at several high-end ski resorts, which have become hubs of healing for veterans.

At a recent cross-country sprint-racing exhibition in the ski resort town of Ketchum, Idaho, also known as Sun Valley, spectators marveled as a one-armed ex-Marine sped by. A nearly blind former Navy linguist raced behind a sighted guide.

Numerous amputee and paraplegic veterans powered around the course solely on the strength of their arms and abs, riding a contraption aptly called a "sit-ski."

U.S. Paralympic National Team member Sean Halsted competes in the biathlon, which combines cross country skiing and target shooting. (VOA/T.Banse)

"Look at their upper bodies," said Tom Lowe, who skis recreationally. "It's amazing what these people can do. It's incredible."

One of those incredible people is former infantryman Andy Soule, now a member of the U.S. National Paralympic Team, who lost his legs in Afghanistan in 2005, after the Humvee he was patrolling in was blown up by a hidden roadside bomb.

His unlikely career path - from soldier to badly wounded warrior to full-time athlete - is made possible in part by training stipends from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

During his recuperation, Soule saw firsthand how military hospitals and the Veterans Administration increasingly emphasize sports as part of the therapy for wounded vets. One day the Texas native met a visiting ski coach from Sun Valley.

"He said that he thought that I had the ability to be a good skier," Soule says. "He thought I should come along to his development camp up here...I just figured I would give it a try. It actually has worked out real well."

Coach Marc Mast agrees. He directs a non-profit organization called the Wood River Ability Program, which specializes in adaptive sports.

"Sport has done more for Andy after traumatic injury - losing both his legs above the knee - and not knowing what he was going to do with his life after that," Mast says. "Sport made him a whole person again, more than anyone I have ever seen."

Not one, but three different non-profits based in Sun Valley seek to replicate Soule's story.  Other ski towns are getting in the act too, including Winter Park, Colorado and Jericho, Vermont.

In recent years, the respective non-profits have attracted hundreds of wounded veterans to winter and summer sports clinics. Winter features Nordic and alpine skiing and sledge hockey.

Summer camps offer hand cycling, rafting, fly fishing, and even paragliding. Longtime swim coach Karen Morrison founded the newest Paralympic sport club in Sun Valley, called AquAbility.

"It's a big movement in Paralympic sports to collaborate with each other and to cross-train and get everybody involved in as many different things as possible," Morrison says. "Swimming and skiing go together real well. Same with running and swimming."

Amputee athlete Andy Soule propels himself up and down race courses using only arm power and his core. He straps himself into a molded seat that rides on a metal frame over two skinny skis. Turning the so-called "sit ski" involves leaning and skidding.

"On the sit down side of our sport, it is a sport that can be picked up fairly quickly," Soule says. "Certainly there is a lot of technique to it, but the basics can be picked up quickly by someone who has the determination and has the physical ability to do it."

There is a "back to the future" element to this. During World War II, the U.S. Navy took over Sun Valley Lodge and converted it into a convalescent center for injured combat veterans. The resort reopened to the public in 1946.

In one more historic parallel, America’s biggest rival in Paralympic Nordic competition is its old Cold War foe, Russia.

In March, Soule and several other disabled U.S. skiers and biathlon competitors will head to Sochi, Russia, for a test event taking place at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games venue.

Language Notes

vet (n) 退伍軍人= veteran
vet 也是另一個字「獸醫」(veterinarian)的意思,需特別注意!

countdown (n) 倒數計秒

take place (v phr) 舉行

resort (n) 渡假勝地;渡假村

hub (n) 中心

amputee (n) 截肢者

paraplegic (n) 下身麻痺者

contraption (n) 新玩意;奇妙的裝置

2014冬季帕運為期一年的倒數計時 (countdown) 已經開始了。本次美國的北歐式滑雪隊幾乎將清一色由受傷的退役軍人組成 (be composed nearly entirely of injured military veterans)。目前美國隊正在幾個高級的滑雪勝地 (high-end ski resorts) 受訓,這些滑雪勝地也成了退伍軍人的療癒中心 (hubs of healing)。

為數眾多的隊伍軍人中有截肢者下半身癱瘓者 (amputee and paraplegic),他們僅憑著手臂與軀幹的力量 (solely on the strength of . . .),騎坐一個正如其名的巧妙裝置 (a contraption aptly called . . .) 「坐滑 “sit-ski”」,在滑雪的路線 (course)上奮速前進。

recreationally (adv) 娛樂地,消遣性質地

infantryman (n) 步兵

blow up (v phr) 爆炸
本片語可做及物不及物使用,例如:The car blew up. 是「車子爆炸」,屬不及物用法。新聞裡是及物用法被動語態: be blown up,表示「被炸毀」。

in part (prep phr) 在某種程度上;部分地

stipend (n) 津貼

recuperation (n) 恢復

adaptive (a) 適應的;改良的

曾是美國步兵 (infantryman)的安迪索爾就是這些了不起 (incredible)的人之一,他現已是美國帕運代表隊 (the U.S. National Paralympic Team) 的成員。2005年在阿富汗 (Afghanistan),他巡邏時 (patrolling)所乘坐的高性能四輪驅動軍用車 (Humvee,編按:又多譯作「悍馬」)被路邊埋藏的炸彈所炸毀 (was blown up by . . .),他因而失去雙腿。

安迪這不尋常的職業路徑 (unlikely career path),一部份 (in part)仰賴美國退伍軍人事務部 (the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) 所提供的訓練經費 (training stipends)才得以實現。在安迪復健 (recuperation)期間,他發現軍方醫院和退伍軍人部門越來越著重 (increasingly emphasize)將運動做為療程的一部份 (as part of the therapy)。

在安迪的教練指導下,有一個非營利組織(a non-profit organization),專事適應性運動 (adaptive sports。編按: “adaptive sports” 是把既有的體育項目作適度的調整與改變,讓殘障人士也可以從事,可看維基百科對disabled sports的解釋。)

traumatic (a) 創傷(性)的

replicate (v) 複製

collaborate (v) 共同工作;合作

propel (v) 推進

convalescent (a) 康復中的;恢復期的

venue (n) 場所

還有其它的非營利組織也想複製安迪索爾的成功故事 (seek to replicate Soule’s story),近年來,吸引了許多受傷的退役軍人到冬季或夏季的運動診所來 (sports clinics)。游泳教練莫里森 (Morrison)認為,很多帕運的項目是可以彼此合作的 (collaborate),能做交叉訓練 (cross-train),盡可能的讓大家參與各種不同項目。

太陽谷現在的運動診所發展讓人有種回到未來(歷史重演)的感覺 (a “back to the future” element)。回到二戰期間,美國海軍曾接管過 (took over)太陽谷小屋酒店 (Sun Valley Lodge),當時將其改做為因傷退役的軍人的康復中心 (a convalescent center)。另一個歷史的相似之處是 (historic parallel),美國帕運北歐式滑雪賽事中最大的對手 (rival),俄羅斯,也正是其冷戰時期的敵人 (foe),。

Language Tips

關係子句的非限定用法 (non-restrictive clause)是用來補充說明前面提過的名詞 (先行詞) 額外的訊息,文法特徵有二:必須由 who或者 which引導,並用逗號 (,) 隔開。「非限定」是因為這個子句的功能不是用來區別被描述的對象與其它對象的差別;有區辨被修飾對象功能的關係子句是「限定性」的用法。

請比較這兩句:(A) I have a cat, which meows a lot. (B) I have a cat which meows a lot. (A)句是非限定用法,表示「我有隻貓,它很愛叫」;(B)句是限定用法,表示「我有一隻很愛叫的貓」。(A)的關係子句是用來進一步說明我養的那隻貓的習性,是補充說明,提供了前面提過的名詞額外的資訊。(B)是用關係子句來區別這隻貓跟別隻貓的,表示我有隻很愛叫的貓,意味著我可能還有別隻沒這麼愛叫的貓,或是一般來說,貓也有不愛叫的,但我養那隻是愛叫的。這就是「限定用法」,藉著子句修飾名詞來限定、區別、確認被修飾名詞的意義。

新聞文中有一句:"One of those incredible people is former infantry man Andy Soule, now a member of the U.S. National Paralympic Team, who lost his legs in Afghanistan in 2005 . . . ." 這就是「非限定性的」用法。"now a member of the U.S. National Paralympic Team"是前面名詞 Andy Soule 的同位語,說明他現在的身份,後接一個who引導的子句,補充說明 Andy Soule 是在2005年失去他的雙腿的。由於在這新聞裡只有一位名叫 Andy Soule ,所以子句不需要區別他跟別的叫 Andy Soule 的人的差別,因此使用「非限定用法」。很多時候非限定用法可以拆寫成兩句,或用連接詞改寫,而不改其意。例子可以寫成:"One of those incredible people is former infantry man Andy Soule, now a member of the U.S. National Paralympic Team, and he lost his legs . . . .",用and連接。 或是:"One of those incredible people is former infantry man Andy Soule, now a member of the U.S. National Paralympic Team. He lost his legs . . . ." ,直接拆成兩個句子。


Check your vocabulary!

Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text below to reveal the hidden answers.

1. Rebels attempted to blow up the bridge.

2. Birmingham is at the hub of Britain's motorway network.

3. Rodgers and Hammerstein collaborated on many Broadway musicals.

4. The concert's still on Saturday but the venue has been changed.

5. His son's death was the most traumatic event in Stan's life.

6. NASA has stopped the countdown for the space shuttle mission because of technical problems.

7. One of our students was unable to propel her wheelchair up the ramp.

8. Police are trying to prevent the demonstration from taking place.

9. There are many summer resorts in the mountains.

10. His spinal cord was severed, and he became a paraplegic.

Source: http://www.voanews.com/content/paralympic-us-veterans-injured-disable/1608912.html


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