Kim Scott was given a two per cent chance of survival.
One day into her life, a life-threatening seizure made Scott so sick she couldn’t eat or breathe on her own. Doctors told her parents their daughter likely wouldn’t make it, even if she pulled through, they said their newborn would live her life in a vegetative state. Twenty-three years later, Scott is training in the hopes of one day representing her country on the world stage.
“The Paralympics are ultimately my big dream and my big goal, but I am very honoured to be able to do it wherever I am,” she says. “It’s definitely about the journey. Definitely, I am enjoying every step, I am enjoying the ride and I want to learn as much as I can to be the best that I can.”
Scott lives with cerebral palsy and today the equestrian is on the back of Adam, a 13-year-old black and white Clydesdale cross she manoeuvres through an indoor arena. In para dressage, rider and horse are juried on a prescribed series of movements. From side to side, then in a circle, then straight. Scott is in complete control, the two in sync.
“It’s communicating with an animal three times your size, who speaks a different language,” she says. “It’s an amazing partnership. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Growing up with stiff, spastic muscles and challenges with balance and co-ordination, the Metchosin resident couldn’t have imagined participating in any sport, let alone enjoying and excelling the way she does now. Despite being a “very competitive” person, her body didn’t allow her to, that was until she discovered therapeutic riding at 11.
“I’m not disabled when I am at the barn and I am not disabled when I am on the horse’s back,” Scott says. “I can go anywhere I want to go and not worry about falling down or tripping or getting tired. The horses really are my legs some days.”
More than two decades after her parents were told she likely wouldn’t live, and 12 years after discovering the sport she is so passionate about today, Scott competes with the Canada Para Equestrian Talent ID Squad. She finished fourth in 2017, but long term, she has only one major goal in mind.
“To ultimately represent Canada in the Paralympics,” Scott says. “And if all goes well it will be the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.”