Who I am.
My name is Matt Hallat and I have been a member of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team since the 2002/2003 ski season. In that time I’ve competed in two Paralympic Winter Games, two World Championships and over 100 World Cup Races all over the world. I have had the distinct privilege to have trained or competed on 5 continents, in many countries including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Chile, New Zealand and all across Canada.
How it all got started.
My story however, starts with a diagnosis of Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, on the 7th of March 1990. The date is relevant not only for my diagnosis, but also because it happens to be my mother’s birthday. Shortly before my sixth birthday I had my right leg amputated through the knee in order to prevent the spread of the disease, and I began chemotherapy treatment.
Shortly after my chemotherapy treatments had ended, my parents found a local learn to ski program for kids with a disability at Grouse Mountain in Vancouver. I went up the hill for the first time and I was hooked from there. I moved on to a learn to race program at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver and from there I was discovered by the BC Disabled Ski Team. By the time I graduated high school and turned 18, I had made it onto the National Team and have been there ever since.
Cancer, losing my right leg, and skiing are my most defining characteristics. Skiing has provided me with more opportunities in my lifetime than I could have ever imagined. Ironically it was cancer that provided me the opportunity to ski at the level I do. I would not be the person I am today without my skiing experiences and I am forever grateful for that.
How I'm going to get there.
I continue to train 11 months of the year in pursuit of skiing excellence. I spend 7 months on the road with my team mates, chasing the snow wherever it leads us, competing on the World Cup Circuit, and the rest of time in the gym or on the bike preparing for the long grind of a season that inevitably lies ahead. The race to Sochi 2014 is on and I am eager to continue pursuing my lifelong goal to be amongst the elite of Paralympic skiing in the world.