Deaf snowboarder aims for the games

[attach]3582[/attach]Darren Chow was born to board.

The 28-year-old Beacher began skateboarding at the age of 10. At 15, he tried snowboarding to satisfy his skateboarding addiction during the winter months.

Chow is now preparing to glide down the slopes of Slovakia this month as he represents Canada at the 17th annual Winter Deaflympics.

“This is the first time I have been selected to represent my country,” said Chow via email.

“There is a significant sense of pride that comes with that responsibility …” said Chow, who was born deaf.

As a deaf athlete, Chow has had his share of challenges, namely the lack of deaf sporting events in Canada, and a lack of financial support.

“There is not nearly enough funding for deaf athletes in Canada, especially not in comparison to the United States and Europe,” Chow said.

While the Canadian Deaf Sports Association helped to cover some of the financial costs, Chow is hoping to raise another $2,000 for the remainder of his trip expenses.

[attach]3583[/attach]On his website, Chow writes that there were some questions as to whether the games would be proceeding at all. Tryouts were held in late December, so with the games starting on Feb. 18, Chow said he hasn’t had long to save up for the trip overseas.

“The next challenge is to convince family, friends and companies that I can compete, and will try my hardest to bring home a gold medal for Canada,” Chow said.

To meet this challenge, a fundraising event was to be held at Boston Pizza at Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on Feb. 8. The event itinerary called for a rail competition in the parking lot and a Boston Pizza buffet dinner.

Chow said he hopes his first time at the Deaflympics won’t be his last. The 18th Winter Deaflympics will be held in Vancouver in 2013.

To support Chow’s journey, visit [url][/url]