Canada’s Erin Latimer, a two-time Paralympian in Para alpine skiing, has announced her retirement from the sport after a successful career. Latimer competed at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and came back as a veteran in 2018 to participate in five races in PyeongChang.
The Toronto native has a lot of experience under her belt and says that her second time competing at the Paralympic Winter Games was different on many levels. Going into PyeongChang, she valued the process above all and knowing this would be her last opportunity to represent Canada, she made the most of it.
“I don’t think that there is a specific highlight [from PyeongChang],” Latimer said in a phone interview earlier this week with the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “The overall experience was amazing and it was great to be able to represent Canada for the second time at the Paralympics. Knowing this was my last Games made it very special. The whole experience is a highlight for me.”
Looking back at performances throughout her career, Latimer is most proud of her six World Cup circuit medals won during the 2016-2017 season: “It is nice to have that to leave with on top of the experience.”
For the 21-year-old, putting her skis away comes with many emotions but also with new projects in sight. While on the Para alpine team, Latimer recalls that doing both school and training at the same time was rather difficult. She completed one semester of university in 2015 but decided to focus on training for the remaining three years before the Games. Now that her athletic career has ended, she is planning on going back to school at the University of Toronto to study Social Sciences.
“I am really looking forward to it. I really liked school so I was sad that I was not able to do both [skiing and studying].”
Latimer is excited to spend the summer in Toronto for the first time in a few years. The National Para Alpine skiing team normally centralises in Whistler for the summer so this will be a drastic change for her.
The Para alpine skier also reminisces about her debut in Para sport and wants to encourage young athletes to have an open mind about new opportunities. Before she became involved, she did not really know what Para sport was but now she is extremely grateful for what it has brought into her life.
She emphasises the idea that “no matter what level you get to, it is important to enjoy it because at the end, what you will remember is your experience, not the results that you got. It is important that you have fun with it.”
Now transitioning to a new lifestyle, Latimer proudly looks back at everything she has achieved in sport and is excited for new beginnings.
“I’m very satisfied with my [athletic] career. I know that I have put everything into it that I could have. I didn’t leave anything out there so I feel very happy about that.”