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UPDATED: Canada's Brian McKeever wins historic 16th gold medal, Natalie Wilkie earns silver at Winter Paralympics

16 golds. 20 Paralympic medals overall. Canmore's Brian McKeever has always been on a different level.

BEIJING – History has been made by Canada’s Brian McKeever after the Canuck completed the golden hat trick on Day 8 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games.

In his final individual race at the Paralympics Games, Canmore’s McKeever, with seeing guide Graham Nishikawa, tied the mark for most gold medals ever won by a winter Paralympian with 16, equalling Para alpine skier, Gerd Schönfelder.

The legendary 42-year-old skier easily won the men’s vision impaired middle distance cross-country freestyle on Saturday morning (March 12) at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre, crossing the line at a time of 33:06.6.

RELATED: Canmore's Brian McKeever on Paralympic golds, speaking with Ukrainian athletes

The gold medal was McKeever’s to lose on Saturday, as he and Nishikawa jumped out to a big lead early and never let up.

Already at these Paralympics, McKeever’s won gold medals in sprint and long distance races with his other seeing guide Russell Kennedy.

In his career, McKeever has won 20 Paralympic medals spanning two decades and six Games.

RELATED: Brian McKeever: Image of Greatness

Sweden’s Zebastian Modin took silver and Ukraine’s Dymtro Suiarko claimed bronze.

In women’s standing, Canada’s Natalie Wilkie tumbled on the last downhill portion of the final lap, but managed to quickly get back up to her feet and swiftly won silver at a time of 41:45.3 – more two seconds faster than bronze medallist Iryna Bui of Ukraine.

The silver adds to Wilkie's medal haul at these Games, already winning two golds in cross-country events.

RELATED: Natalie Wilkie: Bow Valley's Beijing Bound Athletes

Canada’s Brittany Hudak finished seventh, and Emily Young finished 11th.

Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova and won gold.

In men’s standing, Canada’s Mark Arendz finished seventh at a time of 36:23.5.

So far, Arendz has won gold, silver and bronze medals in biathlon events in Beijing.

RELATED: Mark Arendz: Bow Valley's Beijing Bound Athletes

Winning gold and bronze were China’s Wang Chenyang and Cai Jiayun, respectively. France’s Benjamin Daviet claimed silver.

In the men’s sitting, Canada’s Collin Cameron was barely knocked off a podium by 5.3 seconds and finished fourth place.

Cameron has won two bronze medals in cross-country events in Beijing.

Canada’s Derek Zaplotinsky was 15th, and Ethan Hess finished 19th.

China’s Mao Zhongwu and Zheng Peng won gold and silver, respectively. Italy’s Giuseppe Romele captured bronze.

In the women’s sitting, Canadian Christina Picton finished eighth place.

Canada’s Lyne-Marie Bilodeau finished in 13th spot.

China’s Yang Hongqiong and Ma Jing finished with gold and bronze, respectively.

USA’s Oksana Masters took silver.


Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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