How adaptive sailing can change people's lives

Mar 08, 2013
Maureen McKinnon suffered a tragic fall, just blocks away from where The Apprenticeshop is now located in Rockland, and became paralyzed from the waist down. Eighteen years later, she won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. McKinnon will speak about her journey Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at The Apprenticeshop.

Rockland — Twenty years ago, Maureen McKinnon suffered a tragic fall, just blocks away from where The Apprenticeshop is now located in Rockland, and became paralyzed from the waist down. Eighteen years later, she won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. Her sport? Sailing.

The 46-year-old mother of two has turned this tragedy into a triumph for herself and thousands of others through her Paralympic achievements and her work with adaptive sailing programs. Her dedication to this endeavor has helped bring the joy and freedom of sailing to people with disabilities around the world, including Rockland Community Sailing’s fledgling Adaptive Sailing program.

McKinnon will speak Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at The Apprenticeshop.

McKinnon’s story has been featured in "Sports Illustrated," Bob Costa’s Paralympic highlights, Hallmark Channel specials, and the "Who Says I Can’t" show on adaptive sports athletes. Her numerous awards include US Sailing Athlete of the Year, Women’s Leadership in Sailing, and nominations for both Yachtswoman of the Year and the ESPY award.

The Apprenticeshop is located at 643 Main St. After the program, stay for a tour of the Shop and see current boatbuilding projects. Admission is $5.

Second Thursdays at The Apprenticeshop is sponsored by Eastern Tire.

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