By Tom Degun

Weston Smith_head_and_shouldersDecember 8 - American Weston Smith has died at his home in Florida at the age of 71.

Smith, who competed in the sport of wheelchair curling, made history when became the oldest Winter Paralympian ever when he participated at the Turin 2006 Games.

Smith, who is from Bangor in Maine, had used a wheelchair since 1995 due to a tumour on his spine.

Smith's spinal cord tumour initially claimed his left leg in 1978, and 17 years later, the same tumour spread to his right leg, leaving him to a wheelchair.

But that did not slow him down, as he participated in numerous wheelchair sports including tennis and basketball.

In addition to participating in the Paralympics in 2006, in which the United States team finished tied for last place, Smith took part in the inaugural Wheelchair Curling World Championships in Switzerland in 2002.

Smith is survived by his wife, three sons and eight grandchildren.

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