Team Quickie/Sopur Athletes in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games
With only a week left of competition in the 2008 Paralympic Games, Sunrise Medical Team Quickie/Sopur athletes are all thinking of one color. Gold.
Some have had it. Others want it. All know that to gain it, they have to be at their best and so does their equipment. From the basketball and tennis courts to the handcycling road race, Quickie and Sopur sports chairs will give the human machine the best opportunity to succeed.
“My Quickie All Court gives me the ability to be the best that I can be,” says Jeff Glasbrenner of the USA men’s wheelchair basketball team. “The chair is an extension of my body and without that extension, I wouldn’t do the things that I can do.”
For 25 years, Sunrise Medical, Longmont, Colo, has featured brands such as Quickie, Breezy, Sopur, Jay, Sterling, Guardian, and Coopers.
As a player who once scored 63 points in an NWBA national championship game, Glasbrenner has known success—but what he really wants is a Paralympic gold medal. To get that he’ll have to push the USA past defending champions Canada, who have dominated the game for the past decade.
Patrick Anderson and fellow Team Quickie member David Durepos and their Canadian mates are looking for their third straight Paralympic gold medal. After a disappointing 7th place finish in Athens, the USA worked to rebuild and finished second to Canada in the 2006 World Championships.
“A third one would be gravy,” says Anderson, who led Canada in Sydney and Athens. “I’d like to see some of the rookies on the team get a gold medal.”
Led by Team Quickie’s Glasbrenner and Matt Scott, the Americans are keen to see that doesn’t happen.
Don’t be surprised to see USA-Canada finals in both the men’s and women’s wheelchair competitions. While the Canadians won the last world title, the Americans with Team Quickie members Jen Ruddell and Stephanie Wheeler are the defending Paralympic champions from Athens.
On the tennis court, Team Quickie looks to repeat its precious medal haul from Athens. Team Quickie athletes won four gold, two silver, and two bronze medals in men’s, women’s, and mixed-quad competitions. Three of the four players who made the podium return in Beijing.
With four gold medals in singles and doubles from the Sydney and Athens Paralympics, no athlete has ever been as dominant as the Dutch master, Esther Vergeer, who has not lost a match since 2003 and has been ranked No. 1 in the world for the last 8 years. and She knows that her Quickie Matchpoint tennis chair is an important part of her game.
“It is like you are dancing or floating on the court," Vergeer says. "In tennis it is important to be quick in your first push and in your turns. With the Quickie Matchpoint, it doesn’t take you much to do that. You don’t loose energy, power or strength pushing your chair.”
The top two medalists return from Athens quad tennis, England’s Peter Norfolk and American David Wagner. American Beth Arnoult will look to add to the Team Quickie success at the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Centre.
Paralympic legend Heinz Frei of Switzerland is back again and will compete in both athletics and handcycling. In handcycling, he will be joined by fellow Team Quickie/Sopur members including Austria’s Christoph Etzlstorfer who won a gold and bronze in Athens along with Patrick Moyses of France, Torben Bröer of Germany, Edward Maalouf of Lebanon, and Italian Vittorio Podesta. Alhassane Balde will be back for his second Paralympics Games representing Germany in Athletics.
Along with athletes from Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and Hong Kong there will be at least 36 Team Quickie/Sopur athletes competing in Beijing pushing themselves and their equipment in the effort to bring home the gold.
For more information about the athletes, visit the company’s Web site. Sunrise Medical is not a sponsor for the Paralympics, but directly supports the efforts of Team Quickie/Sopur Athletes.