March 17, 2015 Dinner
Guest speaker: Paul RosenUpdated Sunday October 4, 2015 by Kitchener Sports Association.
PHOTO: Paul Rosen, guest speaker at KSA's March 17 dinner held in conjunction with the local Rotary clubs at the Kitchener Holiday Inn. Paul is holding his artificial leg, emphasizing that it is not part of him and doesn't define who he is nor what he is capable of doing.
The proceedings, with Neil Aitchison acting as MC, also featured Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin, Laurel Creek Track Club's Bella Efremenko (who thanked KSA for its travel grants) and Waterloo Regional Boxing Academy's Tanvir Piper & Tanvir Kahlon who presented the proceeds from their club's annual "Beatings" event ($1,100) to Children's Wish.
Click on photo to pause/activate slideshow, enlarge photo and/or read the caption. (Adobe FlashPlayer is required.)
For 24 years thereafter, Paul endured countless surgeries to repair his leg. Standing in an airport in Germany in 1997, his leg snapped again — this time, for the last time. Over the next 18 months, he suffered 14 more unsuccessful surgeries.
In 1999, doctors discovered a massive infection in his knee and delivered the diagnosis that Paul either has his right leg amputated, or he has three months to live. On June 9, 1999, at age 39, Paul's right leg was cut off above the knee.
Inspired by 12-year-old triple amputee Shane Smith who, during a tough rehab session asked: "Paul, do you still have a heart? Do you still have a brain? Then what's wrong with you?" ...Paul Rosen's grit and determination swelled to unforeseen levels.
Within one year of his amputation, Paul mastered the game of Sledge Hockey, tried out for, and made the Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team. One year later he became the oldest rookie (age 41) in the history of the game, playing for Team Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics. Paul remains an integral and inspirational leader of the top-ranked Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team, and after the 2006 Torino Paralympic Games (Gold medalists), Paul Rosen was ranked the number one Sledge Hockey goaltender in the world.
In January 2007, Paul made headlines across Canada when his Paralympic gold medal was stolen during an autographing session with fans in Toronto. After commentator Don Cherry told the thief to drop the gold medal in a mailbox during his Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, the medal turned up at a postal sorting station in Toronto and was returned to Rosen. He announced his retirement from the Canadian ice sledge hockey team on September 7, 2010.
Of note, Paul also competed in sitting volleyball, another disabled sport. He became a member of Canada's sitting volleyball team at the 2007 Parapanamerican Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Paul's talk, using props such as his artifical leg, his unwashed Team Canada Jersey, his 2006 gold medal with its vandalized strap and his Dan Snyder and Diamond Jubilee awards, was truly inspiring. At the conclusion of his presentation, Paul was recognized as a "Paul Harris Fellow" by the Rotary Club. Read more about Paul at www.paulrosen.ca
Note upcoming KSA dinners are as follows: