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// FLASHBACK: 2010 WINTER PARALYMPIC GAMES


True Grit


Multi-sport three-time Paralympian Jacqui Kapinowski doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit


ing. If I don’t do that my whole mindset is off the rest of the day. I’ve never had coffee in my life,” says Kapinowski. Yet, talking to the three-time Paralympian, it seems like she just


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had three or four cups in a row given her enthusiasm and energy. You’d think Kapinowski would just want to take it easy given her


lifelong battles with bacterial meningitis, cancer, and a debilitating disease called Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) that has resulted in bro-


ost of us think of a hot cup of cof- fee to start our day. Not Jacqui Kapinowski. She’s thinking, “How far can I go and how fast can I get there?” “My cup of coffee has always been a run (or a row) in the morn-


ken ribs and vertebrae. She fights the autoimmune disease to this day. “I’ve seen what SPS can do to people – dystonia, ankles and feet


that don’t move any more, spasms, extreme pain. Many people that have SPS are bed-ridden. It’s always in the back of my head - what happens when I can’t move anymore? I think that’s one reason I’m constantly pushing myself. I’ve seen the result of this disease and the medications used. I don’t want to be there.” So, Kapinowski has always pushed hard to compete and train in


curling, rowing, and triathlon (all of which she has participated in as a Paralympian). Ten there’s the marathons and Ironman com- petitions. Even if the weather is terrible, Kapinowski is out there. “When it’s raining, I view it as Mother Nature’s skin moisturizer,” she ex-


Story by Brad Whitlock, U.S. Curling News writer


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