Wheelchair Athletics, Saskatoon
"I've achieved beyond anything I thought I could do. With this sport you get to basically travel the world and meet so many people. That helps in everyday life."
Becky Richter excels at wheelchair athletics
In 2003, Becky Richter broke her neck in a car accident. A difficult time followed for the Saskatoon product as she adapted to life in a wheelchair. Then, someone helped her life get back on track.
"I was kind of just sitting around wondering what to do. There was the fitness group that I started going to. My coach came and helped us out. And then he got some other people started with track and field," said Richter. "I went out and watched some friends and I thought it just looked like so much fun."
Richter admitted that she was "intimidated" when she first began wheelchair athletics. After all, her teammates were all accomplished by that point and many were national team members. Her first couple of competitions were difficult.
But the sense of unity among the athletes really helped her.
"They were all pretty encouraging," said Richter. "We're at different levels of function, so we're different classifications and don't directly compete with each other. They were just great. They cheered me on and I really started to love it."
This passion for the sport quickly began to show in the competitions.
In 2013, Richter went to Lyon, France, for the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships. She won silver medals in the T51 classification seated discus throw and club throw. She also set a Canadian record in discus and an Americas record in club throw. Richter holds Canadian records in the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 discus and T51 seated throws.
Richter is focused on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games and the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships. Her ultimate goal: the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Regardless of what her future holds, Richter said she has gotten so much out of her involvement with wheelchair athletics.
"I've achieved beyond anything I thought I could do," she said. "With this sport you get to basically travel the world and meet so many people. That helps in everyday life."