February 2009: Usher speed skater ranked 19th internationally
One of the fastest speed skaters in the world has Usher syndrome. Kevin Frost, 41, is ranked 19th internationally. He is the only disabled person to ever compete against able-bodied skaters at this level. On Feb. 20, 2009, Frost will set a record. He will become the first and last Paralympian to skate the Richmond Olympic Oval when he enters the International Masters Championship in British Columbia. Although he’s set many records in his athletic career, this is one record Frost hopes will be beaten – and soon.
"Never stop believing in your dreams" is Frost’s motto. Ever since he began losing his eyesight at age 30, Frost has been on a mission to get speed skating recognized by the Canadian and International Paralympic Committees. In the meantime, he’s been climbing the ranks among able-bodied competitors in speed skating, and training as a Paralympic Adaptive rower for Team Canada.
Frost wants to see speed skating introduced as a demonstration sport for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He has traveled to countries around the world and experienced overwhelming support from visually-impaired skaters just like him. Frost knows the interest is out there, the Paralympic Committees just need to make it possible for these athletes to race.
After 2010, the oval will be converted into a sports centre. This means the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games is Canada’s chance to promote speed skating to the world as a Paralympic sport. Frost’s tremendous success is proof that it can be done.
About Kevin Frost:
Kevin Frost has Type 2 Usher Syndrome which has left him with 90 per cent hearing loss and only 5 per cent of his field vision. This has not stopped him from breaking records in the sport of speed skating.
He was born in Victoria, B.C. in 1967, and moved to Ottawa, Ontario in the early ‘70s. He was a referee for the Ontario Hockey League until his progressive condition forced him to end his career at age 30. Frost found the strength to turn things around and begin a new career as an athlete. For more information on Kevin Frost, please visit his website at www.deafblindspeedskater.com