Welcome!

News Feed Item

Chris Klebl and Brian McKeever Celebrate Double Golden Sunday to Wrap Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

Klebl skis to first Paralympic medal, McKeever chalks up 10th career gold

#CEQUIESTLA

SOCHI, Russia, March 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Mission accomplished!

Canada's Para-Nordic Ski Team wrapped up the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in thrilling fashion with a double-gold performance in cross-country skiing on Sunday.

In two of the most challenging classifications, Chris Klebl, of Canmore, Alta., shocked the world to win the men's 10-kilometre sit-ski race, while Brian McKeever won his third gold medal of the week in the visually impaired category.

The 42-year-old Klebl put down the performance of the Games when it counted most to win Canada its final gold medal, and secure the country its goal of finishing in the top-three in the overall medal count. Klebl clocked a time of 30 minutes, 52.0 seconds (30:52.0).

"It feels pretty good for sure," said Klebl. "I have exceptional skis for wet, sloppy conditions and today we got exactly those conditions. It just feels good. We prepare for this over and over and over again to try and get things to line up, and today it did."

A three-time Paralympian, Klebl moved to Canmore, Alta. to join the Canucks from the United States following the Vancouver 2010 Games. He first made history as a member of the Canadian Team in 2011 by winning the World Championships in the sit-ski distance race.

Klebl, who grew up in Austria where he skied and snowboarded, became paralyzed from the waist down in 1995 in a snowboarding accident.

Sunday's victory was particularly important as Canada was in a fight for third spot in the overall Paralympic gold medal count with the Ukraine with the final sit-ski race remaining.

Klebl held off the Ukraine's Maksym Yarovyi, who finished second at 31:06.5. Russia's Grigory Murygin skied to the bronze at 31:18.2.

"It means a ton to me to contribute to Canada's medal count," said Klebl. "Four years ago I made a major decision to move to Canada, and Cross Country Canada and the Own the Podium program have backed me since. I just wanted to pay them back."

While Klebl grabbed Canada's final gold medal at the 2014 Games, it was Brian McKeever who secured the nation its first. On Sunday the legendary Paralympian was at it again.

Battling race fatigue and strong headwinds, the 34-year-old McKeever utilized a two-guide strategy with Erik Carleton and Graham Nishikawa, for the second time this week to gut out an impressive come-from-behind victory. Team McKeever posted a time of 23 minutes, 18.1 seconds in the men's 10-kilometre skate-ski visually impaired category.

"That one was tough. It hurt," said McKeever. "I woke up this morning and didn't feel great. It was all on the guides again today. They did such a good job with the headwind. I was able to tuck in behind them and save a lot of energy. By the time we got to the last lap there was still a little gas left to get us by today."

Outside of sprint racing, it was the smallest margin of victory at a Paralympic Winter Games for McKeever, winning by just eight seconds.

Russia's Stanislav Chokhlaev skied to the silver at 23:25.1, while Thomas Clarion, of France, rounded out the podium in third with a time of 24:14.9.

The Canadians leveraged a two-guide race strategy to pull McKeever to the top of the podium.

The 36-year-old Carleton, of Canmore, Alta., led the way around the first 6.5-kilometres before coach Robin McKeever called in Graham Nishikawa, of Whitehorse, to pull him into the winner's circle. McKeever was behind 12 seconds at the five-kilometre mark in the race.

"Having guided for 10 years I know how incredibly hard it is to do this job in the wind," said Robin McKeever, head coach, Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team, who led his brother to 10 Paralympic podiums. "It is like a tow truck pulling a Ferrari out there in the wind. For the guide, it is like doing a one-kilometre sprint race just to stay ahead of Brian. But the problem is you have to keep that pace for nine more kilometres. It is so difficult."

Consummate team players, Carleton and Nishikawa shared the workload and trips to the podium this week to help McKeever accomplish his goal of a golden hat-trick.

"It is so tough out there and I'm thankful Graham was here to help us out and get the job done," said Carleton. "I went hard off the start and just tried to hang on."

"Brian is just such an incredible athlete so it is very difficult to stay ahead of him," added Nishikawa. "This whole week has been such an awesome experience. I've been so impressed with everything, and of course I'd love to be back again."

The victories bring McKeever's Paralympic gold medal count to 10, making him Canada's only winter Paralympian to reach double digits. He has a total of 13 Paralympic medals.

"The medals this week were very special," said McKeever. "The way we did it was such a team effort. Both guides gave me a solid draft all week, which made a huge difference in the conditions. We orchestrated a great team effort and that makes it so special to me."

Other Canadian results on Sunday included: Mark Arendz (Hartsville, P.E.I.) in 11th at 25:16.4; and Louis Fortin (Fredericton, N.B) 36th at 32:58.8 in the men's 10-kilometre standing race. Brittany Hudak, of Prince Albert, Sask., was 12th at 15:35.0, and Ottawa's Caroline Bisson 16th at 16:55.2 in the women's five-kilometre standing category. Robbi Weldon (Thuder Bay, Ont,) and her guide Phil Wood (Canmore, Alta.) were seventh at 15:32.5, while Ottawa's Margarita Gorbounova and her guide of Regina's Andrea Bundon were eighth at 15:42.2 in the women's five-kilometre visually impaired race. Saskatoon's Colette Bourgonje was 13th in women's five-kilometre sit-skiing at 18:13.0. Yves Bourque, of Becancour, Que., was 24th at 39:11.5, and Quebec City's Sebastien Fortier was 26th (40:03.4) in the men's 10-kilometre sit-ski race.

In addition to McKeever and Klebl's four golds, Canada's Para-Nordic squad will leave Sochi with six medals as Mark Arendz also won a silver and one bronze in biathlon racing.

For more information and complete results, please visit www.paralympic.ca

PHOTOGRAPHY: Media are invited to visit photos.paralympic.ca and create an account to be able to download high-resolution photos of Canadian Paralympic athletes at any time, at no cost. 

For full information about Team Canada at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, please visit www.paralympic.ca/team-canada.

SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, will discuss how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He will discuss how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
As machines are increasingly connected to the internet, it’s becoming easier to discover the numerous ways Industrial IoT (IIoT) is helping to shape the business world. This is exactly why we have decided to take a closer look at this pervasive movement and to examine the desire to connect more things! Now if you need a refresher on IIoT and how it is changing the world, take a moment and listen to Greg Gorbach with ARC Advisory Group. Gorbach believes, "IIoT will significantly change the worl...