PyeongChang 2018: Canadian alpine and Nordic skiers announced19.02.2018
Paralympic and world champions will represent the nation at the upcoming Games
The National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Canada has announced the alpine and Nordic skiers who will compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games from 9-18 March.
Twelve Para alpine skiers (seven men and five women) represent a high-powered combination of World Championship, World Cup, and Paralympic medallists, as well as up-and-comers vying for experience at their first Winter Games.
Mac Marcoux is among the favourites in the men’s vision impaired. The 20-year-old raced to a gold in the giant slalom and bronze in both downhill and super-G at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at just 16 years old. He bean skiing with his current guide, Jack Leitch, in 2016 and have found huge success on the Para alpine circuit. Together they swept the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in downhill, super-G, slalom and giant slalom. After winning multiple World Cup podiums, the duo wrapped the 2017-18 World Cup season ranked the top overall in men’s vision impaired.
“Right now I’m focused on taking advantage of our final few weeks of training before heading to South Korea,” Marcoux said. “Going into the Games, Jack and I are going to try to enter each day with clear heads and just ski the best we can.”
The Canadian Paralympic Team won eight medals in Para alpine events at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games: two gold, one silver and five bronze.
A total of 14 of Canada’s best Para Nordic skiers and biathletes (10 men and four women) were also nominated for selection to PyeongChang 2018. The 12 athletes and two guides will include a group of Paralympic, World Championship and World Cup medal winners led by 13-time Paralympic medallist Brian McKeever, along with his guides Graham Nishikawa and Russell Kennedy.
Two other Paralympic medallists, Chris Klebl and Mark Arendz are also returning to Canada’s Paralympic Team with a focus on skiing back onto the podium. Klebl captured a gold medal in the men’s 10-kilometre sit ski event in Sochi 2014, while Arendz celebrated two podium finishes in biathlon.
“This is a well-balanced team of veterans and rookies, and an exciting time within the team as we have never had this type of depth. I look forward to seeing everyone achieve their goals at the Games, whether it is celebrating personal bests or medals,” said Arendz. “Personally, my focus is on the key factors I have control over that will drive performance. It is all about the preparation because the athlete who is best prepared is the one who achieves success. I get very excited to be a part of the Games and to see the power that sport can bring to the world.”
Canadian Para alpine skiers
Mac Marcoux (guide Jack Leitch)
Canadian Nordic skiers
Brian McKeever (guides Russell Kennedy and Graham Nishikawa)