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Alpine, XC skiers lead Canada at Paralympics


Five days into the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, Canada sits in ninth in the medal standings out of 22 countries with eight medals; three gold, one silver and four bronze. All of the medals went to our disabled alpine and cross country athletes.

The Canadian Disabled Alpine Ski Team claimed five medals in just two alpine disciplines, the downhill and the super G.

Karolina Wisniewska of Calgary is a double bronze medallist placing third in both the downhill and super G in the LW3,4,6/8 category. This category is for skiers with disabilities in lower limbs, skiing with two normal skis and two normal poles.

Her teammate and rival Lauren Woolstencroft, also a resident of Calgary, didn’t finish the downhill but won the super G is the same category.

Danield Wesley of New Westminister skied to a bronze medal in the men’s downhill and won the silver in the super G in the LW12 category. Stacy Kohut of Canmore, Alberta, who is known in Whistler for his downhill mountain biking, and Scott Patterson of Vancouver were fourth and fifth respectively in the super G. The LW12 category is for competitors with lower limb disabilities and race on a sit ski of their choice.

Ian Balfour of Pincher Creek, Alberta, placed fourth in the LW6/8 men’s downhill, which is for skiers with a disability in one upper limb and ski with two normal skis and one pole.

In Nordic cross-country competition, Brian McKeever of Canmore captured the gold in Tuesday’s visually impaired 10-kilometre freestyle race. In doing so he became the first Canadian male to win two gold medals at a single Games after winning the short 5 km race two days earlier. He is guided by his brother, Robin McKeever.

The Paralympic games run until March 16.

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