Growing up in Southern California, Candace Cable was not an athlete. After high school, she moved to Lake Tahoe, lied about her age to get a job and worked as a casino blackjack dealer.
Cable’s life, though, two years later changed forever after a car accident left her with a severed spinal cord. She was paralyzed from the waist down. Cable battled depression and drugs before finally making a choice to make the best of her situation.
She eventually enrolled at Long Beach State University and became hooked on wheelchair racing, developing into one of the best para-athletes in the world. But not only did Cable become a world-class racer, she also became one of the top skiers as well. Cable participated in four Paralympic Games and five Paralympic Winter Games, winning 12 medals, including eight gold medals. At the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, Cable won five gold medals; she was the first woman to win Paralympic medals at both the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games.
In addition to her success in competition, Cable has become a role model for other people with disabilities.
“I didn’t feel there was anyone else in my position after the accident,” Cable said. “I didn’t feel there was anyone else like me, anyone who understood what I was going through. I hope that I can use my disability to show people that we all have obstacles and if we can turn those obstacles into challenges they become more do-able and we can overcome them. We are all in this together, we are all the same. We struggle with the same problems, and we all feel isolated, alone and challenged sometimes.”
Cable also has worked with several different bodies to advocate for the rights of disabled people. And she has served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the organizing committee working on the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
“A person in a wheelchair is not supposed to have fun or be happy. I’m both,” she said. “Besides, I get the best parking spaces at shopping centers, and I don’t have to wait in line at the movies.”