BEIJING – History has been made by Canada’s Brian McKeever after the Canuck completed the golden hat trick on Day 8 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games.
In his final individual race at the Paralympics Games, Canmore’s McKeever, with seeing guide Graham Nishikawa, tied the mark for most gold medals ever won by a winter Paralympian with 16, equalling Para alpine skier, Gerd Schönfelder.
The legendary 42-year-old skier easily won the men’s vision impaired middle distance cross-country freestyle on Saturday morning (March 12) at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre, crossing the line at a time of 33:06.6.
The gold medal was McKeever’s to lose on Saturday, as he and Nishikawa jumped out to a big lead early and never let up.
Already at these Paralympics, McKeever’s won gold medals in sprint and long distance races with his other seeing guide Russell Kennedy.
In his career, McKeever has won 20 Paralympic medals spanning two decades and six Games.
Sweden’s Zebastian Modin took silver and Ukraine’s Dymtro Suiarko claimed bronze.
In women’s standing, Canada’s Natalie Wilkie tumbled on the last downhill portion of the final lap, but managed to quickly get back up to her feet and swiftly won silver at a time of 41:45.3 – more two seconds faster than bronze medallist Iryna Bui of Ukraine.
WHAT A FINISH 😮— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) March 12, 2022
Canada's Natalie Wilkie showing pure determination in the women’s standing middle distance cross-country event after a fall just before the finish line
The Canadian looks primed for a silver medal 🥈 pic.twitter.com/KDPIs2K1qI
The silver adds to Wilkie's medal haul at these Games, already winning two golds in cross-country events.
Canada’s Brittany Hudak finished seventh, and Emily Young finished 11th.
Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova and won gold.
In men’s standing, Canada’s Mark Arendz finished seventh at a time of 36:23.5.
So far, Arendz has won gold, silver and bronze medals in biathlon events in Beijing.
Winning gold and bronze were China’s Wang Chenyang and Cai Jiayun, respectively. France’s Benjamin Daviet claimed silver.
In the men’s sitting, Canada’s Collin Cameron was barely knocked off a podium by 5.3 seconds and finished fourth place.
Cameron has won two bronze medals in cross-country events in Beijing.
Canada’s Derek Zaplotinsky was 15th, and Ethan Hess finished 19th.
China’s Mao Zhongwu and Zheng Peng won gold and silver, respectively. Italy’s Giuseppe Romele captured bronze.
In the women’s sitting, Canadian Christina Picton finished eighth place.
Canada’s Lyne-Marie Bilodeau finished in 13th spot.
China’s Yang Hongqiong and Ma Jing finished with gold and bronze, respectively.
USA’s Oksana Masters took silver.