“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

– Satchel Paige (and others) 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games Tat triumph was followed in 2010 by a bittersweet experience at the

Vancouver Paralympic Games. Playing in the bronze-medal match versus Sweden, the game came

down to the last rock. Kapinowski’s voice breaks as she describes how close the team came to medaling. “It came down to a measurement at the end - their skip’s stone versus one of my lead stones. Tat was a tough one. A very tough day.” Te team placed fourth based on the measurement. As much as she wishes it differently, “it just wasn’t meant to be,” she philoso- phizes. But what a wonderful experience marvels Kapinowski, quickly back

on her “life is good” and “there’s a reason for everything” comportment that guides her day-to-day activities and helps lead her through her life’s journey. “Te experience was amazing, incredible, but also grueling. We went in

Jacqui Kapinowski was a member of three World Wheelchair Curling Cham- pionship teams for the U.S. as well as the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

udes. She’s been known to go out in snowy blizzards with her hand cycle just because she HAD to get in that morning workout (think cycles and snow – they don’t mix well.) I’m a Runner – No, I’m a Curler

Kapinowski got her first exposure to wheelchair curling in 2007 when

Jimmy Joseph and Marc DePerno approached her while she was in Utica, N.Y., participating in a Boilermaker road race. Tey asked her if she might be interested in trying curling. “My family is from Scotland so I knew about curling but not how to play

it,” explains Kapinowski. “But my initial reaction was I’m a marathoner not a curler.” Nevertheless, they arranged to find a club near her (Plainfield Curling Club in New Jersey) so she could try it out. “I found it very intriguing just trying to understand the sport. I loved

it. I don’t think people realize how difficult the sport really is,” remarks Kapinowski. As with everything that Kapinowski decides she wants to do, she latched

onto curling and spent hours on the ice so that she could try out for the team that was going to compete the next year at the 2008 World Curling Championships in Switzerland. She made the team and four months later Team USA returned with medals secured. “I will never ever forget the day our team returned (aſter besting Canada

in the bronze medal match.) It was an unbelievable feeling. It wasn’t just the medal – it was the whole experience - the traveling, and meeting people from all over the world, and learning so much. It was the whole experience. Te Plainfield club was so supportive. In addition, Steve Brown, to this day, is a huge mentor to me. I still keep in touch with him, as well as other team members,” says Kapinowski.

to the medal round tied with Canada for number one. I met friends from all over the world who are still great friends today. I truly believe you need failures to understand how to succeed. I wouldn’t be here today if not for these types of experiences,” she concludes. O r ig i na l l y

from New Jer- sey, these days, Kapinowski, 54, has retired from curling mainly as a result of mov- ing to Tequesta, Fla. She pushes herself through a rigorous train- ing schedule that prepares her for her most recent sporting triumph – rowing. She’s in train-

ing for the U.S. Rowing Para World Cham- pionship Trials that will be held in Mercer Lake, N.J., in early August. “I’m thrilled that my family will be at the New Jer- sey race,” declares Kapinowski. “My grandson, Logan, is the love of my life. He’ll get to watch me race for the first time.” Kapinowski’s husband, Harry, as well as her two sons, Bill and Lorin, and their families also will be there.

Jacqui Kapinowski calls her grandson, Logan, the “love of her life.”

Continued on Page 15 USA Curling (( 13

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