Seven years ago, Lauren Woolstencroft made Paralympic history as she took five golds at Vancouver 2010, the most ever won by a Canadian winter athlete at a single Games.
As we approach the Americas Paralympic Committee’s (APC) 20th anniversary on 1 August, Woolstencroft’s performance at her home Winter Paralympics enters at No.15 at the APC Top 20 Moments in History.
“It was the best experience in my ski racing career for sure!” she said on Vancouver 2010. “I still have many years left in my working experience, so tough to call that the best (in my life) at this point. It was a great experience though!”
Woolstencroft had won two golds and one bronze at Salt Lake City 2002 and one gold and one silver at Torino 2006, but the best was yet to come.
In front of her home crowd, she subsequently won the women’s slalom, super-G, super combined, giant slalom and downhill to achieve what no other Canadian winter athlete.
“It was very meaningful to have my best performances for five consecutive races in front of family and friends!” she said. “It was also the first Winter Paralympics in Canada so it was meaningful to see our successes translate into greater awareness and support for the Paralympic Movement in Canada!
“I remember all races pretty clearly; however the first and the last were very exciting. It was obviously great to kick off the Games with the first medal - it was confidence boosting as I hadn't had great results leading up to the Games.
“The last one was also very exciting - I couldn't believe that I had done it and it was so much fun to celebrate with family, friends, teammates and coaches who were there! Each medal was special.”
But what makes her achievement even more remarkable is the fact that Woolstencroft, also an electrical engineering, helped design the electricity distribution infrastructure for Vancouver 2010 mountain events.
“I was part of a team that designed the electrical infrastructure for the mountain venues - that meant getting the right amount of power to both the permanent and temporary facilities of each venue,” she explained.
“It was a fantastic experience and a lot of hard work. Again, I was lucky to have supportive employer and ski team that helped make it work!”