Liam Stanley and Bruce Deacon prepare for the London Worlds.
I have been working with CBC and Petro-Canada creating photography for Petro-Canada’s FACE Program which supports up-and-coming athletes who are striving to represent Canada at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, but don’t qualify for government funding.
Below is a link to CBC’s The Bond story on Liam Stanley’s and his relationship with his Coach Bruce Deacon as well as stories on other FACE athletes which is defiantly worth a look.
Here are a few photos from the two training session I shot at the Oak Bay track in Victoria, B.C. with Liam and his coach Bruce.
Liam Stanley who won a silver medal for Canada in the T37-classification in the 1,500 metres at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games warms up prior to a training session at the Oak Bay track in Victoria B.C. Canada on May 24, 2017. Stanley suffered a stroke at birth leaving him partially paralyzed down the right side of his body. KevinLight/CBCSports
Two time Olympian in the marathon at the 1996 and 2000 games Liam Stanley’s coach Bruce Deacon marks off 20 metre gaps prior to the teams training session at the Oak Bay track in Victoria B.C. Canada on May 24, 2017. Deacon who coached Stanley to his silver medal in Rio is now coaching him for the World Championships in London, England in August. KevinLight/CBCSports
Stanley ties his shoe prior to his training session at the Oak Bay track beneath a giant oak tree. I’ve dreamed of winning a medal for Canada since I was little. But IÕm not done. I’m going to keep training hard to bring home gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and beyond. KevinLight/CBCSports
Deacon noticed Stanley’s speed on the soccer field as he led his GNS high school team to two Colonist Cup high school championship game appearances and three B.C. single-A titles. Deacon and Stanley came to an arrangement that if Canada failed to qualify for the Rio Paralympics in soccer, Deacon would coach Stanley with the goal of qualifying him for the games in track. KevinLight/CBCSports
At the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games Stanley beat the Canadian national record for the1,500 metres T37-classification by eight seconds posting a time of 4:16.72 four seconds behind winner Michael McKillop of Ireland. KevinLight/CBCSports
Liam Stanley stands partially shaded beneath a giant Oak Tree following his training session at the Oak Bay track. Stanley suffered a stroke at birth which left him partially paralyzed down the right side of his body. To meet the T37-Paralympic Games classification athletes like Stanley must undergo a classification assessment. During this, they undergo a series of muscle coordination tests and demonstrate their running and jumping skills. A determination is then made as to what classification an athlete can compete in. KevinLight/CBCSports
Coach Deacon encourages Stanley as well as his able bodied teammates up and down the track as they complete a highly intensive lactate interval workout. KevinLight/CBCSports
The race in Rio was full of tension, with Michael McKillop of Ireland winning gold. McKillop is an incredibly talented and successful runner, so I knew it was going to be tough, said Stanley. “I loved every minute of that race. I love a good battle. I love to fight. IÕm looking forward to facing McKillop again. KevinLight/CBCSports
Coach Deacon sprints across the middle of the track giving Stanley and his teammates their interval times making sure the leader of each lap keeps appropriate pacing. KevinLight/CBCSports
A drop of sweat falls from Stanley’s chin following a highly intensive interval workout at the Oak Bay track in Victoria B.C. Canada. Liam has the potential to win gold over the next few years. It’s exciting to be part of his success” said Deacon. KevinLight/CBCSports
Deacon’s set his personal best marathon time at the California International Marathon with a time of 2:13:18 in 2002. Deacon who completed two marathons by the age of 12 said he was one of the shortest kids in his school and really uncoordinated and if they had a vote for the least likely to ever be an Olympian, he would have voted for himself. KevinLight/CBCSports
Deacon and Stanley share a moment following a training session at the Oak Bay track. Deacon explained that in Rio Liam ran perfectly staying with winner Mckillop’s patented surge while the other runners fell behind, and with another year of training and maturity he would be ready to contest for gold. KevinLight/CBCSports
Prior to winning his silver medal in 2016 Stanley was named the Canadian para-soccer player of the year in 2013 and 2014. Known for his dedication and determination Stanley’s long term goal is to become a multi sport Paralympian winning an Olympic gold medal. KevinLight/CBCSports