Seven athletes to watch at Para nordic world championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

February 12, 2019

2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships kick off with biathlon races on February 16


Prince George, British Columbia is prepping to welcome the globe’s best Para cross-country skiers and biathletes this week, as the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships kick off with biathlon races on February 16. 

Running through February 24, skiers will compete for prestigious world titles at the most important event on the sport’s calendar outside of the Paralympic Games. There will be many incredible athletes to watch throughout the seven race days, so here are just a few of the competitors – from both Canada and internationally – to have an eye on in Prince George. 

The complete 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will be live streamed via the Canadian Paralympic Team Facebook page. 

Mark Arendz – Canada 
Canada’s Closing Ceremony flag bearer at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Arendz will be one of the leaders of Team Canada in Prince George. The Hartsville, PEI native won six medals in South Korea, including his first Paralympic gold, to add to a silver and bronze from Sochi four years earlier. One of the best and most dedicated in the sport, the 29-year-old says he’s hoping to take advantage of the opportunity to compete on home soil. 

Andrea Eskau – Germany 
Dual sport star Eskau, who also is a multi-Paralympic medallist in cycling, will be one to beat in the women’s sit ski races. After winning six medals in PyeongChang (two golds, three silver, one bronze), the 47-year-old was named Germany’s Female Para Athlete of the Year in 2018. The six-time Paralympian and eight-time Paralympic champion told the IPC website she has goals of reaching the podium in Prince George, despite competing against younger opponents. 

Natalie Wilkie – Canada 
The youngest athlete on the Canadian Paralympic Team in PyeongChang, Wilkie was a breakout star at her first Games, winning a medal of each colour. Just 18 years old, she is still fairly new to the Para nordic world – though she has been a strong cross-country skier for much of her life – and looks to be a top challenger for years to come. She’ll be aiming to add her first world championship hardware to her collection.

Collin Cameron – Canada 
First competing in Para nordic skiing in 2016, Cameron made his Paralympic debut last year and proceeded to win three bronze medals in his category. The 30-year-old from Sudbury has fast become one of the top sit skiers in the world. He finished first in the biathlon sprint at the season-opener World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland in December and a target next week will be besting his prior top result at the world championships, fourth place in 2017. 

Daniel Cnossen – United States 
After first making his Paralympic debut in 2014, Cnossen put together the best results of his career so far in PyeongChang last winter. He took home one gold, four silver, and one bronze medal to become one of the most successful athletes at the Games. The 38-year-old sit skier, who has been dominant this season so far, will be looking for his first world championships podium performance. 

Emily Young – Canada 
Young came home from her debut Paralympic Games with two medals – a silver in the mixed relay and a bronze in the 7.5km cross-country race. The former wrestler, from North Vancouver, has world championships experience under her belt, helping Canada to its first-ever worlds medal in the relay back in 2017. This experience could help the 28-year-old standing skier shine competing in her home province next week. 

Benjamin Daviet – France 
Twenty-nine-year-old Daviet became a three-time Paralympic champion in PyeongChang in men’s standing competition, and he hasn’t slowed down since. In the two World Cup events to open this season, Daviet captured two gold and one bronze in Vuokatti, Finland followed by three gold medals in Ostersund, Sweden. He’ll be looking to maintain that momentum upon his arrival to Canada. 

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