Canada’s winter warriors on the prowl! Two gold at Para biathlon worlds, two big wins at wheelchair curling worlds

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 07, 2024

Arendz and Wilkie open with victories in Prince George

Arendz 2024 worlds

Canada is red hot right now on the international Para winter sports scene. 

In Prince George, B.C., the Canadians opened the inaugural Para biathlon world championships with two gold and a bronze. 

Over in Gangneung, South Korea, Canada posted two crucial victories to qualify directly for the semifinals at the wheelchair curling world championships.

Gold for Arendz and Wilkie at biathlon worlds

In Prince George, Mark Arendz of Hartsville, PEI and Natalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, B.C., each won a gold medal Wednesday to open the inaugural Para biathlon world championships.
Brittany Hudak of Prince Albert, Sask., added a bronze.

In the men’s 7.5 kilometre standing race, Arendz clocked 21 minutes 05.5 seconds for the victory missing only one of 10 targets, his first miss this season. The 12-time Paralympic Games medallist is undefeated this season in the biathlon having swept gold in all three events at the World Cup last month with perfect shooting.

Serhii Romaniuk of Ukraine was second in 21:26 and Germany’s Marco Maier (21:58) third. 

It was also Arendz’s first win at the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club. He won six medals at the 2019 Para nordic world championships but no gold.
“It’s exciting to finally do that,’’ said Arendz about the win. ‘’Maybe that was one of the biggest things for me, was not to not to start off like I did all of world championships last time in 2019. 

‘’I have the win; I know I’m capable of it, and now it’s just continuing that throughout the week and into next as well.”

In the women’s 7.5 kilometre, defending champion Wilkie tied for first place with Paralympic Games gold medallist Liudmyla Liashenko of Ukraine. Both clocked 24:11.3 with Wilkie shooting perfectly while the Ukrainian missed once. Hudak took bronze with a time of 24:51.7.

“Biathlon has been kind of like hit or miss this year, so having clean shooting and a win in the first race for Para world biathlon world championships is pretty awesome,” Wilkie said. “I’m really happy with that.”

Hudak admitted she felt some nerves going into the race.

‘’I felt really solid skiing,’’ said the three-time Paralympian. ‘’I tried to stay calm and focused in the range and keep dialed in on what I was doing.’’

Derek Zaplotinsky of Smoky Lake, Alta., continued his strong season placing fourth in the men’s 7.5km sitting sprint. He was also perfect in the shooting range.

Competition continues Thursday with the men’s and women’s 12.5 kilometre.

Canada heads to semis with four straight wins at wheelchair curling world championships

Canada defeated Norway 8-0 then edged Sweden 7-6 in an extra ends comeback victory to complete the round robin portion of the tournament with an 8-3 record. 

Ideson dash

China, Canada, Latvia and South Korea all posted 8-3 marks with China and Canada, 1-2 at last year’s worlds, ranked 1-2 to get a bye to the semifinals on Friday night. Latvia, South Korea, Norway (7-4) and Sweden (6-5) will battle it out for the other two semi spots earlier Friday.

“I feel like we’re hitting our stride, we’re reading the ice well, and we’re onto the rocks,” said Canada’s skip and lead Mark Ideson of London, Ont. ‘’Going straight into the semi is important; it gives us a little extra rest and time to talk about how we’re going to strategize against whoever we see next.”

Joining Ideson on the ice were fourth Jon Thurston of Dunford, Ont., third Ina Forrest of Spallumcheen, B.C., and second Gil Dash of Wolseley, Sask.

The semi-final games run Friday at 5 a.m. ET

The gold and bronze medal games will take place Friday, March 8 at 9 p.m. ET. (Saturday morning in South Korea)

All games will be available to watch on YouTube at

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