Bolt and Krueger lived an outdoor life before their accidents. The pair said it just made sense for them to continue adventuring afterwards. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Disabled athletes paddle and bike from Revelstoke to Nelson

Two athletes with spinal cord injuries will paddle and bike to raise awareness for adaptive sports

Two athletes are currently paddling and biking from Revelstoke to Nelson, B.C. The catch – they have severe spinal cord injuries and cannot walk.

“I can’t make it through one Netflix show. I’d rather be outside,” said Ethan Krueger, one of the athletes participating. Krueger lives in the Lower Mainland.

Ethan Krueger along with Tanelle Bolt left Revelstoke on July 2, aiming to get to Nelson in 10 days.

The aim of the trip is to raise awareness and create a documentary exploring the idea of “what if”.

READ MORE: To Nelson from Revelstoke: by water and trail

“People usually just see the chair and not the person that was before,” said Mike Riediger, executive director of West Kootenay Adaptive.

Riediger continued that the film should break barriers, inspire those dreaming of connecting or reconnecting with the outdoors and show that people in wheelchairs can do “cool things”.

For Bolt and Krueger, the outdoors was a huge part of their lives before their accidents.

“So, it makes sense that they keep at it,” said Riediger.

Ethan Krueger along with Tanelle Bolt left Revelstoke on July 2, aiming to get to Nelson in 10 days. Bolt is in the front and Krueger is in the back, wearing a green life jacket. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Neither Bolt nor Krueger have done a trip like this before. Although Bolt spends a lot of time on the water surfing, she said she has never used a sit-on kayak. But Bolt assured she will figure it out along the trip.

Bolt injured her spine five years ago, jumping 60 feet from a bridge into a river on Vancouver Island. When she landed, Bolt said she must have hit debris.

“Could have been something as small as a pine cone or plastic bag.”

As Bolt talks, the clouds begin to part and retreat into the mountains. Regardless, the forecast still calls for rain.

“It’ll be fine. We’ll just get wet. We’re not made of sugar,” Bolt said with a laugh.

Although this trip turned out to be a larger undertaking than Krueger anticipated he was “stoked from day one”.

However, there are a lot of unknowns on the trip, such as weather, overgrown infrastructure and trail washouts along the way. The trip will roughly be 90 per cent off road.

“We’ve shot a target on the wall and hope we hit it,” Krueger said.

There are a lot of unknowns on the trip, such as weather and overgrown infrastructure along the way. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

The two will paddle Upper Arrow Lake to Nakusp and attend a spinal cord injury retreat in New Denver, then will continue along Slocan Valley Rail Trail towards Nelson. They aim to travel roughly 45 km per day and the trip will in total be 250 km.

“At times trips like this are hard. Maybe you’ll have a five minute tantrum, but then you carry on,” said Krueger.

“Life is for living.”

READ MORE: Revelstoke Adaptive Sports Program helps woman try paragliding

A zodiac is accompanying for support and to film. Riediger and another are also joining the two athletes.

Donations can be made to support the trip and filming at GoFundMe or by contacting mike@kootenayadaptive.com.

You can also follow the journey on their blog.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A zodiac will accompany and support Bolt and Krueger as they paddle. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

There are a lot of unknowns on the trip, such as weather and overgrown infrastructure along the way. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Just Posted

Last stop: The inside story of Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure

Former employees open up about the Nelson company’s final days

How the Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure affected you

Here’s what readers had to say about the company’s shutdown

LETTER: Clearing up men’s conference confusion

From conference organizer Jeff Zak

IODE and Kootenay Emergency Response celebrate partnership

IODE has pledged $30,000 to KERPA over the next three years

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read