Sherwood Park's Lisa DeJong is the first Canadian to accomplish a significant feat.

DeJong won a silver medal in the woman's snowboard cross in Beijing. She is the first Canadian to win a medal in Para snowboarding at the Paralympic Winter Games.

"It was just shocking and unbelievable. The girls that I was up against are veterans and very strong riders," she said. "I had been competing against them this whole season and had yet to be able to get past them in snowboard cross. So to finally be able to beat them felt absolutely amazing."

At three-years-old, DeJong had her left leg amputated below the knee. 

However, growing up in a ski family, it didn't stop her from hitting the hills and later branching out into snowboarding.

She snowboarded for many years before starting to do so competitively in 2019. DeJong soon made the Para national team and went on to medal in a few national events.

Then, right as things were starting to take off, the pandemic started and training became difficult. 

"That was really frustrating and hard for me [at the beginning]," DeJong said. "It ended up being a blessing in disguise because we got to train at Sunshine for a whole winter."

DeJong would train for two weeks on and two weeks off -- getting plenty of time to learn the bank slalom and the snowboard cross courses.

By the end of 2021, DeJong made her debut on the World Cup circuit and won three bronze medals. She then qualified for the Paralympics.

Lisa DeJong snowboarding down a slope.Lisa DeJong snowboarding at the Paralympic Winter Games. Photo by Shannon Galea.

After three medals later at the World Championships earlier this year and one at the Paralympics, she was grinning ear to ear. 

The 32-year-old said she really enjoyed the whole experience in Beijing. Her team was well taken care of and the venue was well designed. She also thought the snowboarders competed on the best man-made snow she's ever raced on.

Even though spectators weren't allowed at the games, DeJong said it still meant a lot to hear the support from at home. It was especially exciting for her two daughters to watch her compete and then see her medals when she came home.

"My one daughter has a trophy rack in her room and she keeps all of my medals and trophies on it. So she was very excited to add that one to the collection."

Canada won 25 medals total at the Paralympics this year.