Brian McKeever and Canada’s Paralympians on fire in Beijing!

The team is third in the overall standings—and second in golds—thanks to some exceptional skiing
Canada's time is Beijing is going very well so far. (ID 237741439 © Golib Tolibov | Dreamstime.com)


Brian McKeever is a legend.

The 42-year-old Canadian nordic skier collected his 15th-ever gold (and 19th-overall) Paralympic medal at the Beijing Games in the impaired vision sprint. This puts him one win shy of tying the Winter Paralympic gold record for a male athlete. Not bad, right?

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Brian McKeever really is unstoppable. (Getty Embed)

"I'm not able to start very fast at my age," he said afterwards in a TV interview, "so we knew that we had to build into [the race]." (Impaired vision athletes like McKeever use a guide—in his case, skier Russell Kennedy—to help them navigate their race.) "This is the race that is hardest for us to win. It's also probably our least favourite race!'

But nothing—not his age or his preferences—mattered as McKeever was again triumphant. His epic quest for all-time great status has lifted his country to an amazing start at these Games. Canada sits second in gold and third overall with a brilliant 16 medals after just five days of competition—7 gold, 2 silver, and 7 bronze.

But he is far from doing it alone.

Wilkie keeps winning

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Natalie Wilkie celebrates her final push for victory in the standing sprint. (Getty Embed)

Another Canadian para nordic skier who is making headlines is Natalie Wilkie. At 21, she is half McKeever's age, but her career has already gotten off to an incredible start. Yesterday she won the women's nordic standing sprint, for her second gold in these Games and third overall. She also won a silver and bronze at Pyeongchang 2018.

"It's special because I didn't think that I would win the sprint at all," she admitted afterwards. "I just said to myself, 'This is going to take you, like, five seconds to get to the finish. Just hammer it. You're not going to regret it.'"

And she definitely has no regrets.

Cameron powers through

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Collin Cameron in action in the sprint. (Getty Embed)

Someone else with no regrets is Collin Cameron. He captured his fifth-ever bronze after a terrific race in the men's sitting para nordic sprint—an event that puts a person's arm strength to the ultimate test. (Athletes sit strapped into a special ski sled and must propel themselves only using their poles.) He also won bronze in this Games' gruelling 18km sitting race, proving that whether it's a sprint or a long distance race, he is always in the running. Incredible!

Curling and hockey on the horizon

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Canada's Jon Thurston and the rest of the team are fully focused on reaching the medal round at the Paralympic Games. (Getty Embed)

Coming up are a pair of very important games for a pair of teams in some very important sports to Canadians—curling and hockey.

The Canadian wheelchair curling team rebounded from three tough losses to beat both Great Britain and Estonia yesterday. Their next match is against Norway. Win it, and they're assured of going to the semifinals!

A team already in the semifinals is the Canadian para hockey team. They will face South Korea this evening with their eyes on the gold medal. The other semi sees the U.S. play China, meaning that yet another Canada–U.S. final is possible.

In other words, Canada's great start and is looking like it could get even better!


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