Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Paralympic Athletes to Watch in PyeongChang by Shandi Pace

Although the Winter Olympics have finished, the Paralympics are only just beginning. More than 50 athletes will be proudly wearing the red maple leaf, representing Canada in PyeongChang, South Korea from March 8-18.

The Paralympics never get as much coverage or excitement as the Olympics do unfortunately, but learning more about the athletes that will be representing Team Canada can add to your enthusiasm at home. With varying levels of experience and multiple skill sets, here are three standouts to watch:

Brian McKeever
Nordic Skiing - Biathlon
Nordic Skiing - Cross Country Skiing

Brian McKeever made history at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games when he was named to both the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams. Over his career, he’s raced at four Paralympics and remains one of the top visually impaired cross-country skiers in the world. McKeever has won an incredible 13 medals, 10 of which are gold. During the World Championships in February, he captured the win with his guide in the 10- and 20-kilometre events. He also helped Canada make its first ever podium finish in the 4x2.5-kilometre relay.

Ina Forrest
Wheelchair Curling

Ina Forrest made her curling debut at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics vice-skipping for Team Canada. Forrest helped Team Canada capture Paralympic gold in Vancouver and in Sochi. In PyeongChang, she’ll be helping Canada try to win its fourth consecutive Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair curling.

In total, Forrest has competed at nine straight world wheelchair curling championships. She has captured first three times and has never finished outside of the top ten.

Forrest was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in February 2016, re-establishing that she is one of the most decorated wheelchair curlers and is still hungry for more gold.

Liam Hickey
Sledge Hockey/Wheelchair Basketball 

Competing in both the Summer and Winter Games is a feat not many athletes have accomplished. Liam Hickey is a 19-year-old from St. John’s, Newfoundland that played wheelchair basketball for Team Canada at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. He’s now making the transition from the court to the ice, and will be playing for Canada’s sledge hockey team in PyeongChang.

Hickey was named as one of four teenagers that were named to Canada’s National Sledge team in December 2016. At the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships in South Korea in April of last year, Hickey finished fourth in tournament scoring with seven goals and nine assists. This was Hickey’s first world championship in the sport as he helped Team Canada defeat its rivals, the USA 4-1 to win their fourth world title.

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