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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Local doctor cautions Revelstokians as skatepark reopens

Dr. Bret Batchelor reminds people the pandemic is not yet over

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Revelstoke elementary students write poetry about coronavirus

‘You wish you were free like a black bear’

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for June 4

Items from Revelstoke newspapers, as gleaned and edited by Cathy English, curator… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

Most Read