Canadian Paralympic Team on Day 8: Canadian medal total hits record-breaking 24 with five-medal day

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 17, 2018

Brian McKeever wins third gold medal in PyeongChang


– Brian McKeever wins third gold medal in PyeongChang
– Natalie Wilkie claims gold and Emily Young bronze in 7.5KM cross-country
– Mark Arendz captures fifth medal of these Games, will be flag bearer for Closing Ceremony
– Wheelchair curling team takes home bronze medal
– Canada now has claimed its most medals ever at a Paralympic Winter Games

PyeongChang, March 17, 2018 – Canada has now officially won its most medals ever at a Paralympic Winter Games as the nation’s medal total hit 24 at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games on Saturday. This total blasts past the Canadian Paralympic Team’s previous best of 19 medals won at Vancouver 2010.

Gold – 8    Silver – 1    Bronze – 15    TOTAL – 24
•    Brian McKeever (Canmore, AB) now has three gold medals in PyeongChang, winning the 10KM cross-country race with guides Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse, YK) and Russell Kennedy (Canmore, AB) in the men’s visually impaired category. McKeever has claimed gold in all three distances this week to add to his legacy as one of the greatest Winter Paralympians of all-time. He now has 13 gold medals, two silver, and one bronze for a total of 16 across five Paralympic Games.
“This feels good. That one was hard today and was a lot closer than the others. Today was all about teamwork. There was a huge temperature change so we were out very early as a team testing new skis with our wax techs for 90 minutes before the race even started. It was a huge effort by everyone today.” – Brian McKeever 
•    The youngest athlete on the Canadian Paralympic Team, Natalie Wilkie (Salmon Arm, BC), captured her second medal of these Games with a gold medal in the women’s standing 7.5KM cross-country race. This pairs with her bronze medal claimed in the 1.5KM sprint earlier in the week. Wilkie is just 17 years and two months old, competing in her first Games.
“This is crazy awesome. I didn’t think this would happen at all. I’m only 17 and this is my first Paralympics.”
“The difference today was double poling. I just kept telling myself to pretend I was elbowing my older brother.” – Natalie Wilkie
•    Emily Young (North Vancouver, BC) joined Wilkie on the 7.5KM cross-country podium, winning bronze for her first-ever Paralympic medal. This marked Canada’s second double podium in PyeongChang, after a 1-3 finish (Mollie Jepsen and Alana Ramsay) in the women’s Para alpine super combined earlier this week.
“I was trying and trying all week to get onto the podium. I knew this race would be my big chance. I kept telling myself to get this done. There is nothing left in the tank. I didn’t want any more hills. I just wanted to get over the finish line. I left it all out there today.” – Emily Young
•    Mark Arendz (Hartsville, PEI) added to his robust medal total in PyeongChang with another medal – bronze in the men’s 10KM cross-country run. The 28-year-old now has a remarkable fifth medal at these Paralympic Games – one gold, one silver, and three bronze – the most of any Canadian here.
“I woke up and felt ready to go. I was racing with a lot of excitement today. I was ready for this race. I knew the competition was going to be tough. We were all capable of winning today, but the key for pulling out the bronze was the skis. We had such good speed on the downhills that carried us to the finish today. The work our wax techs are doing is making the difference.” – Mark Arendz
•    The Canadian wheelchair curling team will be going home with a bronze medal thanks to a 5-3 victory over South Korea on Saturday. Skip Mark Ideson (London, ON), Ina Forrest (Armstrong, BC), Dennis Thiessen (Sanford, MB), and Marie Wright (Moose Jaw, SK) never trailed in the game, opening to a 2-0 lead in the first end. Canada has now won a medal in each Paralympic Games since wheelchair curling debuted in 2006 – three golds and one bronze. For Forrest, it is her third Paralympic medal, and the second for Ideson and Thiessen. This was the first Paralympic Games for Wright and alternate James Annseuw (Oak Bluff, MB).
“I’m super proud. We put ourselves in a position to defend gold, and we played our hearts out yesterday. It didn’t go our way, but we came out today and we played for each other, and we played for Canada and we’re coming home with a medal.” – Mark Ideson
•    In Para alpine skiing, the Canadian team’s best finish was fourth place courtesy of Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and guide Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB) in the men’s slalom race. Alex Cairns (Squamish, BC) was the only other Canadian to finish the course, and he ended with a Top 10 finish in his second Paralympic race. The women will race the slalom on Sunday.



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