Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Spreeman, well-known farm family of Olds district, are proud and happy with the many goals accomplished by their daughter Lana.
Lana lost a leg below her knee in a farm accident before she started school. She accepted her new leg bravely and with her strong character and determination she attempted many activities.
School days were happy for her as she participated in games and was good at skipping. Yes, I know as I had the privilege of her attendance at the Olds Elementary School.
In high school she excelled in track and field, basketball and badminton. After high school she was eager to find new challenges, so she did a two-year stretch of ward work at the hospital then progressed to construction, driving big earthmovers. That led her to adventures at the ski hills driving the special equipment.
In 1972 she was presented an award by Premier Peter Lougheed, as Alberta Junior Citizen of the Year.
While busy working with huge ski equipment, a friend suggested she compete in national disabled skiing competition. She did and never looked back.
From 1979 to 1994 she competed in national and international skiing championships, bringing home 14 medals plus many plaques. These events, including four Paralympic Games, she competed at were held in Norway, Austria, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Sunshine Village, Kimberley, B.C. and a few in the USA.
This is an outstanding accomplishment.
Last year, she entered the Ironman Triathlon in Penticton, B.C., a gruelling 16-hour challenge, finishing under the allotted time. This, too, is so astounding as she is a much older competitor in an event including younger groups.
To date, Lana still finds time to keep fit several hours a day, even though she has a massage therapy clinic with several employees.
Recently she was seen dashing up and down the steps of Sunrise Village. It was a busy day, a family celebration at Alice and Elmer's condo in Sunrise Village. Lana moved with special athletic quality and with a sparkle in her eyes.
Lana resides in Calgary, but never forgets home.
Yes! Courage, determination and faith make a survivor.
Editor's note: Lana Spreeman won 12 medals over the four Paralympic Games in which she participated. At the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway, she was the Canadian flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies.