Beijing 2022 Day 4 Recap: Mark Arendz golden in Para biathlon to bring Canada to 13 medals

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 08, 2022

Canada victorious in Para ice hockey, advances to semifinals


BEIJING – Mark Arendz secured a gold in Para biathlon on day four of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games to keep Canada’s medal streak alive. The Canadian Paralympic Team’s medal tally is now up to 13 with five days of competition remaining. Also on Tuesday, the country’s Para ice hockey team posted a 6-0 win over South Korea to move into the semifinals and in wheelchair curling the maple leaf-clad squad went 0-2 in round robin play. 


GOLD – Mark Arendz, Para Nordic Skiing (Biathlon), Men’s Standing Middle Distance 


Gold: 5
Silver: 2 
Bronze: 6
Total: 13


Para Nordic Skiing – Biathlon 
Mark Arendz captured his second medal in Beijing, and first gold, following a masterclass in the men’s Para biathlon standing middle distance event. Arendz and silver medallist Grygorii Vovchynskyi of Ukraine raced nearly side-by-side for most the 10km course, but on the last shooting bout Vovchynskyi missed once, forcing him to ski the penalty loop. Arendz was a perfect 20-for-20 on the shooting range on the day, which proved critical and allowed him to build an insurmountable lead in the last two kilometres to secure the gold. 

“On that second-last lap just seeing where I had to go, I knew Grygorii was right behind me. If it was a ski race I didn’t think I had it, so I just had to do what I had to do and see where that ended up. With him missing one in the last bout, I saw him go to the penalty loop, and that was my time to go. I just charged as hard and for as long as I could to the finish line.”

Arendz, who crossed the finish line in 31:45.2, upgrades his bronze medal won in this event in both 2018 and 2014. The 32-year-old now has 10 Paralympic medals, including two gold, in his fourth Paralympic Games appearance. He also has a bronze at these Games won in the biathlon sprint on Saturday.  

“So far the Games haven’t been exactly what I thought. I’ve had great shape, I just haven’t been able to convert that into results and today I was even more determined to make sure this one counted, and it felt pretty special to be able to accelerate in the shade there into the finish line and take the win.”

The women’s standing event saw Brittany Hudak post the top Canadian finish in sixth, with Emily Young in eighth. And in their respective 10km sitting category women’s and men’s races, Christina Picton and Derek Zaplotinsky both finished eighth. 

Para Ice Hockey
Canada added its name to the winning ledger in Para ice hockey after a 6-0 triumph over South Korea. After struggling to put the puck on net in its first game against the Americans, Team Canada was an offensive force with 42 shots on goal. James Dunn netted the hat trick, with Billy Bridges, Liam Hickey, and Tyler McGregor the other goal scorers. Goalkeeper Dominic Larocque backstopped Canada to the shutout. 

“We played a solid, consistent game and had three good periods overall,” said head coach Ken Babey. “We found ourselves in some penalty trouble, but we were able to get out of those situations without giving up a goal. Our guys stayed with it and did not get rattled by those penalties. We were able to create a lot of offence after those penalty kills, but the Korean goaltender was outstanding today. We had over 40 shots and their goaltending made our lives difficult. I also love that [James] Dunn had a breakout game, and we had important contributions from a lot of key players.”

“It is an amazing feeling [to score a hat trick at the Paralympics], but I would not be able to do it without the other guys on the team,” said Dunn. “It was important for us have a strong game today and continue to build our confidence for the next few games. We are really focused on our systems and wanted to make sure we were fine-tuning our game, and now we need to focus on our semifinal.”

With the 1-1 record, Canada finishes second in its group and now moves directly into the semifinals on Friday where it will play the winner of the qualifier between Italy and South Korea.  

Wheelchair Curling 
After starting the tournament 4-0, Canada is now on a three-game slide after dropping its two games on Tuesday. Canada first fell 9-4 to South Korea before a narrow 9-8 loss to Slovakia in a game that saw the two countries exchange the lead a few times.   

“We were right there – I just didn’t make the draw at the end of game,” said Jon Thurston, who throws last rock. “Obviously, it’s not the outcome we wanted, but I think it was a strong game for us.”

Team Canada alternate Collinda Joseph saw her first Paralympic action against South Korea. 

“It was pretty amazing, I have to say,” Joseph said about making her Paralympic debut. “I was kind of shaking at the beginning – physically shaking – so I was trying to calm myself down. So after the first two shots, I got into the rhythm of the game and settled in.”

Now sitting with a 4-3 record with three games remaining, Canada will look to return to the winners’ circle with an aim of finishing top-four to advance into the semifinals. 

CLICK HERE for the complete Canadian Paralympic Team results on March 8.   

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