October 30, 2000
Sloan went Down Under and ended up on top of the world
BARON -- Calgary Sun
The 17-year-old Calgary
swimmer won six gold medals in the Paralympic Games, which wrapped
up on Sunday.
With each gold, she set
a world record.
"I came into the meet
with high expectations, but fulfilling them is a really good
feeling," said Sloan in a phone call from Sydney.
"When you set your
goals high and reach them it's a really good feeling."
Sloan has been missing
most of her left hand since birth.
She took gold in the 100-metre
and 50-metre freestyle, the 100-metre breaststroke, the 200-metre
individual medley and the medley and freestyle relays.
She plans to travel for
a few months in Australia, then return home and start training
again, possibly with an eye toward the 2004 Olympics for the
"The dream to one
day compete in both the Paralympics and the Olympics is definitely
something to think about," said Sloan, who plans to compete
in the Canadian national championship for able-bodied swimmers
She credits her success
to a love of swimming. "You have to have a passion for
the sport," she said.
Though her performance
has dazzled Canadians and Australians alike, Sloan's experience
in Sydney with the rest of the Canadian team had a profound
"Right now I'm the
one that's being inspired," she said from Sydney.
"This whole team has
done so well over here."
Disabled athletes must
build on the strengths they have to make up for what their bodies
lack, she said.
"It's all about adaptation,"
she said. "It's not a matter of having all four limbs.
You can adapt to anything, do anything with what you've got."
Sloan graduated from high
school last year, and plans to attend the University of Calgary,
studying business and perhaps taking art courses.
to Paralympic Index