CROCC would like to congratulate Ann Yoshida in her Bronze win at the 2013 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Sprint World Championships/ Duisburg in the V1 Women 200m (Paracanoe A). We are so glad our team could help along the way! Ann, you are an inspiration to us all!
For those who do not know; Ann was paralyzed from the waist down when her car was hit by a truck that ran a red light in 2000. But this accident has not stopped or slowed her down at all. You just have to meet her to see her spunky, bright zest for life that shows she can do anything! As she stated before, “She might be in a wheelchair, but it doesn’t mean she is paralyzed in the head!”
Ann started paddling last year in preparation for the International Va’a Federation (IVF) World Championship in Calgary. Before that she went on a V-6 (OC-6) a few times with Pure Light Racing (http://www.purelightracing.org/) a club that is at the forefront of adaptive outrigger canoe paddling.
When asked what she enjoyed about the sport she responded, “First, I like to think of my Hawai’ian ancestors navigating the Pacific on canoes. It was a means of transport and connecting with the wind, water, and nature. This gives me strength. Second, I love being on the water focused and working hard to get somewhere. The cardio is like no other sport I can do in a chair.”
What is her next goal now that she won the Bronze? Ann said, “One step at a time. The bigger goal for me is to be an ambassador of Aloha and bring people to the health and satisfaction of canoeing. This ultimately empowers people to get out and access their life through meaningful occupations.”
She continued by stating, “My next goal is to get to nationals next year and compete in the World Sprints in Moscow. In addition, I plan on supporting Pure Light racing in Brazil at the IVF World competition. Hopefully all this leads to the opportunity to represent the USA in the Brazil Paralympic games as a USA Woman’s V-1 Athlete.”
We would like to extend a big mahalo to Diane Kaydolph-Ray for getting Ann in contact with CROCC so that we could help her out before her competition and bring her into to our Ohana!