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
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, 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. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, 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. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, 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. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...