In 1982, while on a Coast Guard mission in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, 21-year-old Chris Devlin-Young and his crewmates were attempting to find a runway in the fog. Instead, their plane crashed into a mountain, and Devlin-Young emerged with an incomplete T12 spinal cord injury. Several years earlier another 21-year-old, Candace Cable, injured her spinal cord at the T11-12, L1 level in an automobile accident that forced a detour to Rancho Los Amigos for rehabilitation. Now, in the winter of 2002, Devlin-Young and Cable, both seasoned veterans, are among 500 disabled athletes from 36 countries competing for gold, silver, and bronze medals at the VIII Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
About 200 athletes will use adaptive equipment that allows them to compete in winter sports while sitting down. As a member of the United States Disabled Ski Team, Chris Devlin-Young will compete in the four alpine events –slalom, giant slalom, super G, and downhill, skiing at speeds up to 65 miles per hour. Teammate Candace Cable competes on the Nordic team in the biathlon and cross-country events.
Devlin-Young says now he lives a better lifestyle overall than before his injury. But getting