Patriquin reconsiders retirement

Justin Dickie
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Taking stock of career leaves paralympian thinking he has a few good races left in him yet

Barry Patriquin ran an exhaustive year in plans of ending his career in international wheelchair racing.

Patriquin reconsiders retirement

Barry Patriquin ran an exhaustive year in plans of ending his career in international wheelchair racing.

But now that the seasons over, hes not sure he wants to retire.

After surprising himself with his results in recent meets, Patriquin's reconsidering his future.

"Im running well. Im not going slower. Im probably going consistently better now," Patriquin said.

"Im just not 100 per cent sure I want to quit. I love to race."

The 45-year-old Oxford native and two-time paralympian finished up his racing season last week with races in Sherbrooke, Que. and Ottawa after going full tilt for two months with races in Europe, Ontario, and Atlanta.

He feels more consistent and almost as good as hes ever been, but theres a lot of younger racers coming up and quickly advancing while his progression has levelled off.

"Ive been gone for two months. Im sick of travelling, even sick of racing for the year, but at the same time, Im an athlete. I dont want to quit. And then theres another part of me thats telling me its time to quit, at least competing internationally," he said.

"Im struggling with that."

Hes going to wait and see if he qualifies for funding from Sport Canada before he makes his final decision. If he gets the funding hell train hard and compete for another year, but if he doesnt get it, hell likely leave the international stage.

"Its sort of a time in my life where Im thinking Im going to miss this. Ive travelled all over the world, met people and friends," he said. "But I have other dreams. Im a musician at heart. Thats what I want to do."

He said if he stops competing, hell still race recreationally, probably by doing some 10-kilometre road races. He might even still sprint in the odd invitational race for fun.

"I cant see myself giving it up. Its a lot of fun and Ive got to keep the weight off."



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Oxford, Sherbrooke, Ottawa Europe Ontario Atlanta

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