12 Days of Triumph: Brian McKeever wins 20th world title on home soil

Canadian Paralympic Committee

December 12, 2019

The triumph gave McKeever his 20th career world championship title.


For this holiday season, we will be celebrating some of our favourite sport memories from throughout the year. Canada’s Para athletes achieved a lot in 2019, and we will be remembering one performance each day for 12 days. 

Canadian legend Brian McKeever and his guide, Graham Nishikawa, struck gold in the men’s visually impaired 20-kilometre cross-country classic-ski race on the last day of the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, held from February 16-24 in Prince George, B.C.

It was the first time the Para nordic worlds, launched in 1974 and held every two years since 2003, took place in Canada.

The triumph gave McKeever his 20th career world championship title. As usual, he credited the entire crew that made it possible for him and the event to be successful.

“Graham did such a great job guiding. He absolutely pinned it. It was a great team race for us, and the techs in the room absolutely nailed the skis so that makes our job a whole lot easier. It is so nice to win here at home. The Caledonia Nordic Ski Club and Prince George have done such a great job.”

The Canadians perfected their pre-race strategy, leading wire-to-wire in the individual start marathon where they powered their way up and down the hills of the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club. 

McKeever, a 17-time Paralympic Games medallist, had joined the team midway through the world championships. He was in Monaco for the opening weekend where he was up for a prestigious Laureus World Sport Award for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability for his triple gold performance at the 2018 Paralympics.

Waiting to guide the legendary Paralympian, the veteran Nishikawa played a key role in the Canadian squad’s early medal charge, working with the young athletes and testing skis for the support team. 

McKeever’s victory capped a 10-medal performance for the Canadians in Prince George, which ranked them fourth overall in total medals.

12 days one

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