Wednesday 16 October 2019

Heroic Chris gets warm welcome at Kilcurry NS

Inspirational US para- athlete Chris Slavin got a flag waving welcome to north Louth when she stopped off at Kilcurry National School yesterday (Monday, 30th) during her all Ireland tour.

Chris, who is from Boston, is completing a 1770 kilometre tour of the country as a 'hand cyclist' to raise awareness of activities for the disabled.

'It was a fantastic reception from the kids! When I got there they were all lined up, waving the American flags, and Boston flags. It was great to see.'

Chris, who also travelled with her assistance dog Earle, took the time to talk with the whole school, where she faced some key questions from the inquisitive pupils.

'The kids were amazing really, they wanted to know about my injury, and if I was sad about what happened. It was lovely to get such carefully thought out questions from the students.'

The former snow boarding para-athlete suffered from two spinal injuries which ultimately ended her career.

But she maintained her love of the sport as a coach, and took on the ambitious plan to cycle around Ireland on a specially adapted hand cycle.

'I'm about 800 kilometres in at this stage. We've covered a lot of the west coast and right up in to Northern Ireland before crossing the border into Dundalk, where we stayed overnight.'

She admitted the journey hasn't been an easy one. ' I'm doing on average forty to fifty miles a day. The weather has been tough at times, but the reception has been great, with a lot of people curious as to what I'm doing.'

Chris added that raising awareness was a 'huge part of why I'm doing this' and she's always happy to explain her journey and what brought her to take on such a mammoth task.'

Also battling some expected niggling injuries, she added: 'As a wheelchair user I am used to battling shoulder pain, so it's something I have to be careful about.'

Chris added that she's on target to meet her October 13th finish in Killarney. Follow her daily progress on her Facebook page - Chris Slavin Project Possible.

The Argus