Canada’s Para nordic squad celebrates triple medal day in Finland

After four days of competition, Canada has three gold and four silver medals

VUOKATTI, Finland – Collin Cameron sprinted to his second career victory to highlight a triple medal day for Canada on Sunday at the season opening IPC Para Nordic World Cup in Finland.

Cameron topped Taras Rad, of Ukraine, in the sprint final. 

“I didn’t expect to win, but I had high expectations for myself going into this race,” said the Sudbury, Ont. resident, a triple medallist at the Paralympic Winter Games this past March. “I felt confident I could get a top-three after my qualifying lap. I just felt really good, and my skis were so fast today. The techs really did a great job on my boards and gave me the confidence to go for the win today.”

Cameron’s only other victory came two years ago at the World Cup in PyeongChang where he also won gold in the sprint.

“The difference has been my approach to the sprint races,’’ he said. ‘’I now take the time between heats to go back to the wax room, and stay warm, which has been a key for me. I owe a lot of this victory to everyone on this team. Having them rooting me on today was huge, and I can’t thank them enough for all the positive vibes.”

In other results, 17-year-old triple Paralympic Games medallist Natalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, B.C. took silver in the women’s standing classic-ski race. Canada’s most successful winter Paralympian in history, Brian McKeever of Canmore, Alta., completed the podium hat trick for the Canucks on Sunday with a silver of his own in the men’s visually impaired classification with guide Graham Nishikawa. 

After four days of competition, Canada has three gold and four silver medals. Mark Arendz of Hartsville, PEI, McKeever, and Cameron each have a gold while McKeever has two silvers, and Wilkie and Arendz both have one second-place finish. 

The IPC World Cup continues on Tuesday and Wednesday in Finland with the final two biathlon races.

*With files from Cross-Country Canada