Canadian Para nordic skiers excited to showcase their skills to home fans

Canadian Paralympic Committee

February 15, 2019

The Para nordic worlds take place February 16 to 24 in Prince George, B.C.



PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Their names echoed through the airwaves and were found in the headlines a year ago as they raced in PyeongChang – Mark Arendz, Brian McKeever, Natalie Wilkie, Collin Cameron. Now these Paralympic Games medallists are ready to face the world again, this time on home soil at the 14th IPC World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.

The event, the most important on the Para nordic skiing calendar this season, takes place February 16 to 24 in Prince George, B.C. at the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club. There will be 38 medal events in the program, 20 of them in cross-country skiing and the other 18 in biathlon.

According to organizers, more than 20 countries and approximately 120 athletes will compete over seven days of competition. 

Arendz, who won a Canadian Paralympic Winter Games team record six medals last March, recently told the Prince George Citizen he likes the various challenges on the courses.

“I think it’s going to be a really good course to test the athletes,’’ he said. “There’s a nice mix of sections where you have to work, uphill climbs that are sustained, not just short or really long, kind of a mix of everything and a little bit of the technical on some of the descents that will keep everybody on their toes.

“I think it’s going to be a fair course for everyone and you will get the best athletes taking the day.”

McKeever, Canada’s most successful winter Paralympian, will race on the final weekend. Beforehand, he is headed to Monaco for the Laureus World Sports Awards where he is a finalist for the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award. The award night is February 18.

NextGen athlete Jesse Bachinsky of Kenora, Ont., a visually impaired skier, is not only entered for the worlds but will also compete the following week at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. At the 2015 Canada Games, he competed on the Prince George course.

‘’They have so many steep downhills and corners,’’ he told the Kenora Daily Miner and News. ‘’I have to keep training hard. Keep focusing and improving on the results.”

Bachinsky’s guide for the worlds will be Simon Lamarche of Victoria, who guided him in his World Cup debut this past December in Finland.

At the Paralympics last March, Canada’s Para nordic skiers marched 16 times to the podium to comprise more than half of the country’s Winter Games record 28-medal haul. 
Super Series Broadcast

As part of the Paralympic Super Series, Canadians will be able to watch every race from Prince George. The world championships will be available as live streams with English commentary via the free CBC Gem streaming service and the CPC Facebook page, and via the Radio-Canada Sports app and

The CPC social channels will also be home to on-the-ground stories courtesy of Benoit Huot, who just recently announced his retirement from swimming. Huot will be interviewing the athletes and bringing behind-the-scenes content to viewers. 

Weather Forecast
It appears it is going to be cold in Prince George for the first two days of the worlds with highs around -14 for Saturday and -13 for Sunday. However it should gradually warm up each day with temperatures between -2 and -10 throughout the week. Snow is in the forecast for the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Schedule (competition starts at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET each day)
Saturday February 16: men’s and women’s middle distance, biathlon
Sunday February 17: men’s and women’s middle distance, cross country
Monday February 18: men’s and women’s sprint, cross country
Tuesday February 19: rest day
Wednesday February 20: men’s and women’s sprint, biathlon
Thursday February 21: men’s and women’s individual, biathlon
Friday February 22: rest day
Saturday February 23: mixed relay and men’s and women’s open relay, cross country
Sunday February 24: men’s and women’s long distance, cross country

Canadian Team
Mark Arendz, Hartsville, PEI
Jesse Bachinsky, Kenora, Ont. and guide Simon Lamarche, Victoria
Kyle Barber, Lively, Ont.
Yves Bourque, Bécancour, Que.
Collin Cameron, Sudbury, Ont.
Ethan Hess, Pemberton, B.C.
Brittany Hudak, Prince Albert, Sask.
Brian McKeever, Canmore, Alta. and guide Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse)
Natalie Wilkie, Salmon Arm, B.C.
Emily Young, Vancouver
Derek Zaplotinsky, Smokey Lak, Alta. 

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