Hand cycler crosses the country to fight polio

Ramesh Ferris will give his hometown supporters a fond farewell tomorrow as he embarks on his cross-Canada Cycle to Walk campaign to end Polio.

Ramesh Ferris will give his hometown supporters a fond farewell tomorrow as he embarks on his cross-Canada Cycle to Walk campaign to end Polio.

The 28-year old Whitehorse resident, whose legs are paralyzed by polio, will hand cycle from coast to coast to help eradicate the virus that affected his entire life.

The ceremonial start to the campaign will begin at 9 a.m. at 41 Firth Road in Riverdale, where Ferris first learned to walk with braces as a child.

Ferris will hand cycle to the Yukon government building on Second Avenue, where he’ll meet with government officials at 10 a.m.

At 11 a.m. Ferris will depart from the SS Klondike, hand cycling up Robert Service Way to the airport to catch his flight to the official start of the campaign in Victoria on Saturday.

His campaign will continue through the summer as he crosses the country. He plans to return home by October.

For more information or to help support the campaign, visit www.cycletowalk.com.


Bronwyn Pasloski and Alexandra Gabor returned from the Olympic trials held in Montreal last week, and although the girls did not qualify to go to Beijing, they put in respectable performances in the competition, which saw the very best in the country vie for spots on Canada’s Olympic swim team.

Based on their performances, both Gabor and Pasloski were named to the Canadian Senior B team, for swimmers under the age of 20, which will compete in an international meet with Great Britain and France in Quebec City in August.

The B team consists of the fastest two swimmers in each event at the trials who did not make the Olympic team.

Pasloski finished first in the B final of the 100-metre breast, with a time that was faster than the eighth place finisher in the A final. She also set new personal best times in the 200-metre individual medley event and the 200-metre breast, placing second in the B final in that event.

Gabor finished second in the B final of the 200-metre free. Her time was only .06 seconds off her Canadian age group record. The swim guarantees her a spot on the Canadian team for the 2008 FINA Youth World Swimming Championships to be held in Mexico in July.

Also competing at the Olympic Trials was Yukoner Mackenzie Downing, who swims for the University of Victoria.

The butterfly expert finished second in the A final of the 100-metre butterfly, but she did not make the qualifying time for the Olympic Team.

While in Montreal, she learned that she had been named Female Athlete of the Year at the University of Victoria. She also won the President’s Cup, which recognizes an outstanding UVic student-athlete in fourth or fifth year, who best combines scholastic achievement and athletics ability.

The next competition for the Whitehorse Glacier Bears is the Yukon Invitational Swim meet, to be held at the Canada Games Centre on April 25-26.