Ryan Shay says Switzerland experience was great

Tina Comeau
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By Tina Comeau




Ryan Shay didn’t get the times he needed to qualify for nationals while at a wheelchair racing competition in Switzerland, but he says it was an amazing experience and he is now setting his sights on qualifying for nationals at meets happening closer to home.

Up next on Shay’s list of races following his return from Switzerland were meets in Halifax, Port Williams and Moncton.

Shay traveled to Switzerland in May. He got the opportunity to compete in races and throwing events and to take in the sights and attractions.

“It was quite the fun trip,” he says.

Although he didn’t break national standards in his wheelchair races, he came close.

“The night before my second meet I was practicing my 100 metres and I was staying straight in my lane the whole way. I was a second faster than standards and I could have done it the next day,” he says. “But I get on the track and there are people next to you, they go quick and you want to catch up with them and you mess up. I was about half a second off.”

Part of what Shay was looking forward to during the trip was the opportunity to be amongst so many wheelchair athletes. The opportunity did not disappoint. He says he met people from countries all over the world.

After coming home from Switzerland, Shay was a speaker at the Bridgewater Lumberjack’s annual banquet. He says the speaking engagement went really well, although getting there was quite the journey.

“I took a little tumble in Switzerland on my last night there. I had huge black eyes, damage on my forehead, my nose, my upper lip,” he says. “The next day I woke up 6:30 in the morning. Had an hour-and-a-half drive to the airport. An eight-hour-flight to Montreal. A four-hour wait in Montreal. An hour-and-a-half flight from Montreal to Halifax. A three-hour drive to Yarmouth. Get home at 2 a.m., sleep for a few hours. Do some things. Get a haircut and then drive to Bridgewater.”

The upcoming weeks aren’t any less busy for Shay, who says he will be “training, training and training.”

He’s hoping to move to Halifax in mid-June to be closer to his training facilities and to cut down on the amount of traveling he’s been doing every week driving to and from Halifax from Yarmouth.

PREVIOUS STORY: Ryan Shay to compete in Switzerland. Click here.

NOTE: In the video gallery you can see photos from Ryan Shay's trip to Switzerland, including from the competition and the Swiss sights.

Geographic location: Switzerland, Halifax, Montreal Port Williams Moncton Yarmouth

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