Thirty-nine days after it all first began, the action at PyeongChang is officially over. This Sunday was the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Paralympics, which was in the same South Korean mountain town that hosted the Olympic games. The Olympics saw Canada hit a stunning 29 medals—its best ever total—and a third overall finish. It was a high standard for the country's Paralympians to match. Could they do it?
The best disabled winter athletes in Canada came together to produce a mesmerizing effort that essentially equalled that of their Olympic counterparts: 8 gold, 4 silver, 16 bronze for 28 total medals and third overall. And what's even more impressive? They did it in a Games with 24 less events than found in the Olympics. Incredible!
Arendz stands out
Canada's flagbearer at the closing ceremony was Para Nordic and biathlon standout Mark Arendz. And boy, did he ever earn the right. This star from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island won a stunning six medals, one for every event he competed in: 1 gold, 2 silver, and 3 bronze. That's more total medals than won by 13 nations in these games!
He led the way for an incredible Para Nordic team that won 16 of Canada's 28 medals. Nordic skiing at the Paralympics is also known as cross-country skiing, a style that is similar to running or jogging on skis, rather than going down a hill.
Jepsen was jumping
Another huge part of the country's medal haul was 18 year-old alpine skier Mollie Jepsen. The Vancouverite won Canada's first medal of the Games—a bronze in downhill—and followed it up with three more: gold in super combined, bronze in giant slalom, and silver in slalom. All in all, a remarkable performance.
Brian McKeever also took home four medals (3 gold, 1 bronze), extending his Canadian record-setting personal total to 13 gold, and 17 total medals.
Rock solid supermom
But as these Paralympics proved, you don't need to win a bunch of medals to be an inspiration. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan's Marie Wright was maybe the best story of these Games. An accident in 1988 made her a paraplegic, requiring 10 months in hospital. But she refused to let circumstances dampen her spirit. We think this video sums up her spirit...
— CDN Paralympic Team (@CDNParalympics) March 11, 2018
Thirty years later—at age 57, and in her first Paralympics—she and her wheelchair curling teammates are bronze medallists at the Paralympics! It really shows how far positivity can take a person.
Huge congratualtions to Canada's entire Paralympic team, who all overcame adversity to prove their athleticism and spirit to the world. We couldn't be prouder!