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Ignite Learning
Canadian Paralympian and Vincent Massey Alumus inspires students

Paralympic Snowboarder Andrew Genge is welcomed back with cheers as he shares his story of triumph.

​Students finally get to meet Canadian Paralympian Andrew Genge. (l-r) Owen L., Andrew Genge, Tyson L.)
Students finally get to meet
Canadian Paralympian Andrew Genge.
(l-r) Owen L., Andrew Genge, Tyson L.

Two students from Vincent Massey PS were awestruck when they met former student and Paralympic snowboarder Andrew Genge. He recently went to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games. The event was organized by Petro-Canada's Funding Athlete and Coaching Excellence (FACE) grant program, which sponsors athletes to help them to meet their Olympic and Paralympic goals.

Genge suffered from a stroke at the age of 15, after an accident while playing rugby. The accident left the right side of his body paralyzed. He went through intense rehab therapy and after only five months Genge jumped back on his snowboard.

"It was one of two options, it was either give up or try and get back to 100%, so I choose the latter." Genge shared.

Moments before the event, Grade 6 students Tyson L. and Owen L. were bubbling with anticipation as they talked about Genge. Tyson loved the fact they were going to meeting him.

"You're meeting a guy who represents your country in the Paralympics, after overcoming such a big obstacle in life," Tyson said.

​Andrew speaking to the students at Vincent Massey PS.
Andrew speaking to the students at Vincent Massey PS.

As the teachers and students at Vincent Massey PS anticipated Genge's visit, intermediate teachers had their students research Genge as a class project.

Owen and Tyson are both sports fanatics. Owen plays hockey and Tyson plays hockey and baseball. Now they want to try snowboarding. They felt almost like they knew him already, after working on their project. Owen said. "It's incredible to see him after we've done so much research about him."

James Rowed is the Principal at Vincent Massey PS and he said that this event was inspiring for staff but especially the students. He said that there is a special connection, "he [Genge] played on the school ground and that he was a student in the school allows them [students] to make a connection that they might not normally make with a celebrity or an athlete."

Genge is very modest about his accomplishments and is happy to come back to his elementary school to speak to the students.

"It's really nostalgic, to see my school, how it all changed," he explained. "It's always good to give back, especially to the little kids. The dreams start here."





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© Durham District School Board, 2013