Graham Nishikawa guided Brian McKeever to victory in the one kilometre sprint cross country ski race for visually impaired at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, one of three gold medals collected by McKeever in Sochi. Erick Carleton was the guide for McKeever’s other two wins.
Nishikawa was named the back-up guide to Erik Carleton for McKeever. Nishikawa started training that season with McKeever as both vied to compete at the Olympics and Paralympics. Unfortunately both fell just short in their Olympic bids but booked their tickets for Sochi a month later.
In able-bodied competition, Nishikawa was a member of the senior development squad in 2014. He enjoyed a successful 2012-13 season competing at the world championships and placing a career high 15th in the 30 km at a World Cup event. He started racing with the Jackrabbit program and progressed to the Yukon Ski team led by 1988 Olympian Alain Masson.
He moved to Canmore in 2002 to pursue the sport full time.
2014 Paralympic Games gold medal as guide for Brian McKeever in one kilometre sprint… 2013 Cross Country Canada world championship team member… Career high 15th in 30-kilometre at World Cup last season…
Family: his sister, Emily competed at the 2014 Olympic Games and placed 42nd in the 15 kilometre skiathlon.
Getting into the sport: Nishikawa began his ski career exploring the trails in and around Whitehorse. He was drawn to cross country skiing because it combined great camaraderie, activity and the outdoors.
Odds and ends: correspondence courses from Athabasca University and working towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree… Enjoys fly fishing.