In 2014, John Leslie competed at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, his first Paralympics, and posted Canada’s best snowboard result with a seventh-place in the men’s snowboard cross. It was the sport’s official debut at the Games.
Leslie headed to Sochi in a strong position, having won his first career IPC World Cup medal, a bronze, on January 18, 2014 at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Leslie followed that exhilarating milestone by winning a second IPC World Cup bronze medal the very next day, also at Copper Mountain.
At the 2017 World Championships at Big White in B.C., in January 2017, Leslie placed fifth in the banked slalom, his best result in three world championship appearances.
Leslie is currently living in Whistler with his girlfriend Emilie and dog Zak and training full time for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, to be held in South Korea. Leslie has noticed an incredible progression in Para-snowboarding since he started competing, with the sport making appearances at the X Games, Dew Tour, and having the added discipline of banked slalom included in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games schedule.
A proud product of the small town of Arnprior, Ont, he trained with the Ottawa Akademy Club and Arnprior District High School teams at Mount Pakenham. Leslie raced able-bodied snowboard events for four years with Arnprior District High School. After graduation, his high school coach suggested he try Para snowboard.
In 2011 at age 18, Leslie saved up his money and went to a Para snowboard World Cup in Lake Louise to give it a try. He placed first in Canada and fifth overall and loved the experience. His hometown of Arnprior has been a strong supporter of Leslie’s athletic quests. Arnprior Home Hardware owner Neil Slater has believed in Leslie all the way, both as an employer and a friend.
Leslie has a below the knee amputation, a result of a cancer diagnosed when he was 10.