Brian McKeever of Calgary, Alberta has now won 15 Paralympic medals in his remarkable cross-country skiing career. On Tuesday (Wednesday in Pyeongchang), he won the gold medal in the men’s 1.5 kilometre sprint for the visually impaired at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
McKeever posted a winning time of 4:03.2. Zebastian Modin of Sweden won the silver medal with a time of 4:05.7. Erik Bye of Norway won the bronze medal with a time of 4:32.7. McKeever started 28 seconds back of Modin but was able to get by him in the second half of the race with ease for his second Paralympic gold medal in Pyeongchang. He already won the men’s 20 km race on Monday and will go for his third Paralympic gold medal in Pyeongchang on Friday in the men’s 10 km race.
McKeever was one of three Canadians to win a medal in cross-country skiing on Tuesday evening. In the men’s standing 1.5 kilometre sprint, biathlon expert Mark Arendz of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island won the bronze medal. Arendz tied with Ilka Tuomisto of Finland for third place as both skiers had a time of 4:20.8. Alexander Kolyadin of Kazakhstan won the gold medal with a time of 4:19.7. Yoshihiro Nitta of Japan won the silver medal with a time of 4:20.5.
Arendz, who has one arm due to a farming accident, reached the podium by 0.9 seconds. Alexander Ehler of Germany finished in fourth place with a time of 4:21.7.
The third Canadian to reach the podium in cross-country skiing was Natalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, British Columbia. Wilkie, who lost four fingers in an industrial arts accident at school, had a third place time in the women’s 1.5 kilometre standing sprint classic of 5:14.3. She beat out Emily Young of Vancouver, British Columbia by four seconds in reaching the podium. Anna Milenina of the Neutral Paralympic Athletes won the gold medal with a time of 5:11.1 and Vilde Nilsen of Norway had a silver medal time of 5:14.2.