Canada’s Para-Nordic Ski Team brings home 14 World Cup medals, picking up where they left off last season
Martell, Ital—Kicking off a condensed World Cup season, Canada’s National Para-Nordic Ski Team raced in World Cup races at two new venues in Italy’s south Tyrol region – Toblach-Dobbiaco, host of a stage of the FIS Tour de ski; and Martell, a regular stop on the IBU Cup series.
After a two-year hiatus from classic racing, veteran Mark Arendz (Hartsville, PEI) kicked things off winning Gold in the 10 km classic race. In a dominant performance, Arendz bested the field by nearly a minute. Brittany Hudak (Prince Albert, Sask) and Derek Zaplotinsky (Smokey Lake, Alta) picked up Silver and Bronze on the first day of racing.
The medals continued for Arendz, Hudak and Zaplotinsky and teammate Natalie Wilkie who together added five more medals to Canada’s haul. With a heavy schedule of classic skiing to begin the World Cup, the Canadians benefited from exceptional skis and wax against the field.
Emma Archibald (Fall River, NS) had breakout performances at her first World Cup races. Focusing on the cross-country events, Archibald raced to 5th, 6th, and 7th place finishes. Ethan Hess (Pemberton, B.C.) and Lyne-Marie Bilodeau (Orford, Que) both had career-best performances, with Bilodeau making her first semi-final appearances in the sprint races.
At the end of the tour, Canada shifted focus to biathlon races. Arendz once again proved he was the one to beat, taking Gold in all three events, including the Biathlon Sprint Pursuit, a new format on the Paralympic Winter Games schedule for 2026. Hudak added a Gold and Bronze to her haul, while Wilkie added a Bronze.
Christina Picton (Fonthill, Ont) paced a strong, consistent race and was knocking on the podium door in the final day of racing, as Derek Zaplotinsky finished 6th against the world’s best.
Canada returns home to Canmore, Alta to prepare for the FIS Para Nordic World Biathlon Championships in Prince George, B.C. in March.