Winter Sports Preview: Canada’s Para athletes test mettle two years before Milan-Cortina 2026

Canadian Paralympic Committee

December 06, 2023

Canada to host major international events

Mark Arendz, Natalie Wilkie, Emily Young, Collin Cameron, Beijing, 2022 - Cross Country

Prince George B.C., and Mount Sima, Yukon are among the Canadian hosts for major international events this winter in Para sport.

The first big international event taking place in Canada for winter Para sport got underway Sunday with the Para Hockey Cup Tournament in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. Team Canada won its opening two games: Sunday night against China 4-1 and Monday evening 3-0 against Czechia.

The 20-member Canadian roster at the event features 12 players who won a silver medal at the 2023 World Para Hockey Championship in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and five from the silver medal winning team at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. Two players are making their international debut.

Also back in the fold is star player Liam Hickey, who was out last year due to injury while Tara Chisholm made her debut as a national team assistant coach.

TSN and RDS will broadcast the medal games on Saturday, Dec. 9. All games are available on a pay-per-view basis at

Canada to host two Para snowboard World Cups

Mount Sima, near Whitehorse, will host the fifth and final Para snowboard World Cup event March 27-29, 2024 just a few days after Big White, B.C., hosts a stop on the circuit. Mount Sima is a popular training area for Canadian winter athletes. The Para snowboard athletes were there recently.

“Whitehorse is such a cool location for us because it saves us a lot of money, not having to travel overseas to glaciers in Europe,’’ said Tyler Turner, a gold and bronze medallist in Para snowboard at the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing, to CBC.

‘’We get to stay home, have all the things that we’re used to. Sima’s been so good to us, allowing us to build some cool features — training stuff that’s really unique, that allows us to train at a high level really early in the season.”

The Para snowboard Word Cup season got underway last week in the Netherlands. The second and third stops are February 21-23 in Grasgehren, Germany and March 1-3 in Colere, Itay before heading to Western Canada for the last two stops.

Turner missed most of the 2022-23 season to adjust to new prosthetic legs but reemerged in time to claim his second consecutive snowboard cross world title last March.

Prince George to host Para biathlon world championships and Para nordic World Cup Final

After a successful hosting of the 2019 World Para nordic skiing Championships, Prince George is set to repeat similar duties just four years later on two fronts. From March 5-10 it’s the Para biathlon world championships and from March 13-17 then the Para nordic World Cup Final.

Canada is a superpower in Para nordic.

Last season, the team produced its best ever performance at the Para nordic worlds and equaled its 16-medal haul from the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. The previous best was 10 at those 2019 worlds in Prince George.

Multi Paralympic Games medallists Mark Arendz of Hartsville, PEI and Nathalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, B.C., led the Canadian attack at the 2023 worlds with three gold medals apiece in Ostersund, Sweden.

The first of four stops on the World Cup circuit is January 17-21 on Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Para alpine skiers enter new season on a roll

Alexis Guimond of Gatineau, Que., and Frédérique Turgeon of Candiac, Que., are two of Canada’s hottest skiers entering the 2023-24 Para alpine World Cup season.

Guimond ended last season with two victories on the circuit as well as a bronze in the men’s standing downhill at the world championships. Turgeon meanwhile has reached the podium in five of her last nine World Cup races and also took bronze at the worlds in the women’s standing downhill.

‘’We really want to build on the momentum from last season and continue to improve and to be on podiums,’’ said Canada’s Para alpine head coach Will Marshall. ‘’We had a strong finish to last season, we are all excited to get back to racing.’’

The World Cup season starts in St. Moritz, Switzerland December 14-17 and ends March 19-25 in Sella Nevea, Italy. The venue for the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games in Cortina, Italy is also scheduled for January 30 to February 2.

Busy season in wheelchair curling underway

Canada’s top wheelchair curlers are already in the midst of their competitive season that includes travelling internationally to events in Europe, the United States and Asia.

All of the athletes who have been selected to the national program are currently part of a development and evaluation process. Seven athletes will be selected to represent Canada at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship and World Wheelchair Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Gangneung, South Korea in March 2024.

National program athletes include Jon Thurston, Ina Forrest, Mark Ideson, Gil Dash and Marie Wright, all members of Canada’s silver medal winning team at the world championships last spring as well as Collinda Joseph and Dennis Thiessen, bronze medallists at the mixed world.

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