Paralympic wake-up call: McKeever’s 14th career gold headlines Canada’s 6-medal night


From a decorated Paralympian claiming his 14th title to maiden medals in Para snowboard, Team Canada made history on the third day of competition in Beijing.

Canadian athletes collected six medals between Sunday night and early Monday, doubling the country’s podium count once again — this time from six to 12.

At 42 years old and taking part in his sixth and final Paralympic Games, Brian McKeever still looks unstoppable.

Joined by guide Russell Kennedy, the Canmore, Alta., native captured his 18th career Paralympic medal, including 14 gold honours, by winning the men’s visually impaired 20-kilometre cross-country race on Monday.

WATCH l McKeever adds a 14th Paralympic gold medal to illustrious career:

Brian McKeever of Canmore, Alta., won gold in the men’s visually impaired 20-kilometre cross-country event. It’s his 14th career Paralympic gold medal and 18th medal overall. 7:18

And he did it in style: the Canadian’s time of 51 minutes 39.4 seconds was three minutes and 17.7 seconds faster than silver medallist Jake Adicoff of the U.S.

McKeever still has two other podiums to aim for in these Games: the men’s visually impaired sprint event, where the final is set for Wednesday at 1:40 a.m. ET and the men’s visually impaired middle distance race on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

Read more about McKeever’s 14th Paralympic gold and his inspirational career heading into his final Paralympics.

Here’s more of what you missed on Sunday in Beijing:

Putting Canada on the map

It may haven taken three Paralympic Games, as Para snowboard was introduced back in Sochi 2014, but Canada finally has medallists in the sport.

Paralympic rookies Tyler Turner and Lisa DeJong, who claimed gold and silver, respectively, on Day 3 have officially put Canada on the map.

Tyler Turner of Campbell River, B.C., put on a gold medal performance in the men’s snowboard cross SB-LL1 events final at the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, China, on Monday. (Peter Cziborra/Reuters)

Turner, a Campbell River, B.C., native, was nothing short of dominant in the men’s Para snowboard cross SB-LL1 races, capturing Canada’s first-ever Para snowboard title.

Shortly before that, Lisa DeJong, of Biggar, Sask., struck bronze in the women’s Para snowboard cross SB-LL2 race.

Read more about Canada’s first-ever Para snowboard medals.

WATCH l Turner claims Canada’s 1st-ever Paralympic snowboard title:

Tyler Turner shreds his way to win Canada’s 1st-ever Paralympic snowboard gold medal

Tyler Turner of Campbell River, B.C., dominated the men’s snowboard cross SB-LL1 event to win gold at the 2022 Beijing Paralympics. 6:01

WATCH l DeJong’s bronze hands Canada its 1st-ever Paralympic snowboard medal:

Lisa DeJong delivers Canada’s 1st-ever Paralympic snowboard medal

Lisa DeJong of Biggar, Sask., won the silver medal in the women’s snowboard cross SB-LL2 race at the 2022 Beijing Paralympics. 8:02

Double podium in Para cross-country skiing

Para snowboard wasn’t the only sport to give Canada two medals on Day 3 in Beijing.

Natalie Wilkie, of Salmon Arm, B.C., and Brittany Hudak, of Prince Albert, Sask., claimed the gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the women’s visually impaired 15km cross-country skiing race.

Teammate Emily Young finished just off the podium in fifth.

Canada’s Brittany Hudak, Emily Young, and Natalie Wilkie (left-right) all cracked the top four in the women’s standing Para cross-country skiing race in Zhangjiakou, China on Sunday. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Wilkie, now 21 years old, was the youngest Canadian in PyeongChang 2018 when she came back with three medals, while the 28-year-old Hudak’s bronze represents her second medal over three Paralympic Games so far.

Read more about Wilkie and Hudak’s double podium for Canada.

WATCH l Canadians Wilkie, Hudak ski to Paralympic gold, bronze medals:

Canadians Wilkie and Hudak ski to Paralympic gold and bronze medals

Natalie Wilkie won gold and Brittany Hudak won bronze in the women’s standing 15-kilometre cross-country skiing at the 2022 Beijing Paralympics. 2:24

Ramsay grabs 2nd medal in Beijing

It’s back-to-back medals for Canada’s Alana Ramsay.

The Calgary native, fresh off placing third in the women’s standing Para alpine super-G on Day 2, added another bronze to her name in the women’s standing super combined alpine event on Day 3.

Ramsay, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and had to overcome a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis following a crash in 2019, had the fourth-best time in both super-G and slalom portions of the race, combining for a time of two minutes 6.33 seconds.

WATCH l Calgary’s Ramasy claims 2nd bronze at Beijing Paralympics:

Calgary’s Alana Ramsay collects 2nd bronze medal at Beijing Paralympics

Alana Ramsay collected her second medal of the Beijing Paralympics on Monday, winning bronze in the women’s standing super combined alpine event. Ramsay also won bronze a day earlier in the super-G race. 3:27

The 27-year-old also claimed bronze in both events in PyeongChang 2018, maintaining her spot among the sport’s elite four years later.

Mollie Jepsen of West Vancouver, B.C., who won gold four years ago, didn’t finish the slalom portion of the event, therefore not showing up in the standings.

Read more about Ramsay’s second medal in Beijing.

Injured Marcoux ruled out, Arendz misses podium

But it wasn’t all celebratory for Canada on Day 3.

Mac Marcoux, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., has been ruled out of the remainder of the Beijing Paralympics with a lower-body injury sustained in a Sunday super-G crash, the Canadian Paralympic Committee confirmed Monday.

The six-time Paralympic medallist, who earned the silver medal in the the men’s visually impaired downhill race on Day 1, had already missed the 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships in January due to a back injury.

Canada’s Mark Arendz placed fourth in the standing 20km classical technique cross-country event on Monday, putting an end to a seven-podium streak in the Paralympics that spanned back to PyeongChang 2018. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

On another low note for Canadian athletes, four-time Paralympian Mark Arendz saw his podium streak come to an end.

After going six for six for podiums in PyeongChang 2018 and setting a Canadian record for most medals in a single Winter Paralympics, Arendz added another medal to his name with a bronze in men’s 6km standing biathlon sprint on Day 1 in Beijing.

The Hartsville, P.E.I, native, however, finished fourth in the standing 20km classical technique cross-country event on Monday, missing the podium by 14.2 seconds.

Arendz also claimed two medals in Sochi 2014.

Canada finally loses in wheelchair curling

The Canadian wheelchair curling team was defeated for the first time at the Beijing Paralympics with a 6-3 loss to Sweden in round-robin play.

Canada’s win streak to start the competition ends at four, after victories over the U.S., Latvia, Switzerland, and defending Paralympic champions China in the opening draw.

Canadian co-flag-bearer Ina Forrest, Mark Ideson, Dennis Thiessen and Jon Thurston return to the ice against South Korea on Monday at 8.30 p.m. ET, before a matchup against Slovakia on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. ET.

WATCH l Canada remains undefeated in wheelchair curling after victory over Americans:

Canada remains undefeated in wheelchair curling after victory over Americans

Canada scored a triple in the fourth end, and they continued their winning ways with a 7-4 victory over the United to improve to 4-0 in round-robin play at the 2022 Beijing Paralympics. 0:50

Here’s a quick look at other Day 3 Beijing events:

Para alpine skier Giacomo Bertagnolli handed Italy its first gold medal in the 2022 Paralympics in the men’s super combined super-G at Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre on Monday. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Henrieta Farkasova, of Slovakia, successfully defended her women’s vision-impaired super combined title from PyeongChang 2018 for her 11th overall Paralympic gold medal. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Norwegian Para alpine skier Jesper Pedersen won the men’s sitting super combined event by just 0.28 seconds ahead of Jeroen Kampschreur of the Netherlands on Monday. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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