Quick facts


April 4, 1985


Smoky Lake, AB


Smoky Lake, AB


Para Nordic Skiing




Beijing 2022

PyeongChang 2018

Para nordic skier Derek Zaplotinsky reached new heights at the 2019 World Para Nordic Championships in Prince George, B.C., with two top-five finishes. The sit skier was fourth in the biathlon sprint and fifth in the cross-country middle distance.

He launched the 2021-22 World Cup season with five top-10 results including a fifth in the 10-kilometre cross country race at the World Cup event in Canmore, AB in December. 

He competed in five races in his Paralympic Winter Games debut in 2018, with two top-10 finishes. He had headed to PyeongChang with several international top-10 international performances under his belt.

Cross-country skiing wasn’t even on Zaplotinsky’s radar when he was first introduced to the sport. He first got involved in the sport as a cross training opportunity for hand cycling, but adapted quite quickly and enjoys the competition. Having grown up on a farm, he was attracted to the outdoor lifestyle of Para nordic skiing. 

A triple medal performance at the Canada Games in 2015 (one gold, two silver) gave him the belief he could represent Canada in the sport internationally. He has ever since, including three world championships appearances. 

Made Paralympic debut at the PyeongChang 2018 Games… Three-time world championship team member (2015, 2017, 2019)… Two top-five finishes at world championships. 

In 2006 he was motocross racing in Lloydminster and another dirt bike landed on him leaving him paralyzed from the waist down…Returned to sport four years later, first as a Para cyclist and then as a cross country skier… enjoys hand cycling, boating, sledding and hunting…


2022 Paralympic Winter Games – biathlon middle distance – 8th
2022 Paralympic Winter Games – sprint cross country – 12th
2022 Paralympic Winter Games – long distance cross country – 13th
2022 Paralympic Winter Games – biathlon sprint – 14th
2019 World Championships – biathlon sprint – 4th 
2019 World Championships – cross country middle distance – 5th
2018 Paralympic Winter Games – 7.5 km biathlon – 9th
2018 Paralympic Winter Games – 15 km cross country – 9th
2018 Paralympic Winter Games – 12.5 km biathlon – 12th
2018 Paralympic Winter Games – 7.5 km cross country – 15th
2017 World Championships – biathlon 12.5 km –9th
2017 World Championships – biathlon 15 km –5th
2017 World Championships – biathlon 7.5 km –10th
2017 World Championships – cross country 10 km –12th
2015 World Championships – cross country 15 km –12th