Canadian Para-Nordic Team Celebrates Four Medal Day at World Cup Finals
PARK CITY, Utah—Canada’s Para Nordic Team added a pair of silvers and bronze medals to their early haul at the World Cup Finals at Soldier Hollow on Thursday.
Collin Cameron, of Bracebridge, Ont., continued his sizzling season by winning the silver medal in the men’s five-kilometre sit-ski event. The 34-year-old Cameron stopped the clock at 14:23.8.
‘I’m very happy with the race today. A 5km is really tough. It’s so easy to start too hard and cook yourself,” said Cameron, who was part of the squad’s five-medal Wednesday where he recorded his sixth career World Cup victory to go along with his two World Championship titles.
“It is nice to still end up on the podium. It was better weather today which made for perfect conditions.”
Italy’s Giuseppe Romele was first at 13:46.9. Ukraine’s Taras Rad skied to the bronze with a time of 14:23.8.
Ethan Hess, of Pemberton, B.C., was 11th at 16:01.5.
Fresh off lighting the cauldron to open the 2023 Canada Winter Games while welcoming the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic stream athletes to the Nordic venue that bears his name in Prince Edward Island, Mark Arendz was back hunting down his own performance goals.
The 32-year-old was rock solid in a silver-medal triumph of his own in the men’s standing classification.
Arendz, of Hartsville, P.E.I., stopped the clock at 12:11.2 in the skate-ski race.
“I was very happy with my performance. I knew going in that today was going to hurt,” said Arendz. “After spending time at sea level, travelling to altitude was not going to make the race easy.
“I focused on pushing and controlling my race over the first lap, then progressing through the second lap. It was an exciting, tight race from start to finish.”
Japan’s Taiki Kawayoke won gold in the classification with a time of 12:07.2. Benjamin Daviet, of France, was .1 second behind Arendz, placing third at 12:11.3.
Christina Picton (Fonthill, Ont.) skied to her second-straight bronze medal in the women’s sit-ski race.
The 29-year-old persevered through the punishing Soldier Hollow course, clocking the third fastest time at 18:34.5.
“The conditions were a lot better so racing was a lot nicer, but not any easier,” said Picton. “This course is a tough one, with heavy climbs off the start.
“It was just about energy management and skiing efficiently. I’m happy that racing my plan resulted in another podium, but there’s still lots of work to be done. I’m grateful for the fast boards again, and all of the support from our team.”
The former Para ice hockey player finished behind Kendall Gretsch, who won gold for the second straight day, at 15:58.5. Germany’s Anja Wicker skied to the silver spot on the podium with a time of 16:44.3.
Lyne-Marie Bilodeau (Magog, Que.) placed fifth for the second-straight day at 19:58.3.
Natalie Wilkie, of Salmon Arm, B.C, also grabbed her second bronze in as many days.
The 22-year-old Paralympian completed her 5-kilometre test with a time of 13:15.2.
Norway’s Vilde Nilsen took the gold after stopping the clock at 12:59.7. Liudmyla Liashenko claimed third place at 13:09.4.
Brittany Hudak, of Prince Albert, Sask., was fourth at 13:55.1.