Sit-skier Chris Klebl’s international adventures have led him to Canada where he has become one of the country’s top Para Nordic skiers. That was confirmed in the 2013-14 season as he earned an upset victory in the 10 kilometre event, one of his four races at the Sochi Paralympic Games. Among his victims was Roman Petushkov of Russia who was vying for his seventh gold medal of the Games. It was Klebl’s first Games medal in three appearances.
In 2017, Klebl missed the world championships due to an illness as he was hospitalized due to a skin problem. Just two years earlier, at the 2015 worlds, Klebl posted three top-five finishes and is hopeful he can return to top form for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
Klebl was born in Dusseldorf, Germany as a U.S. citizen and grew up in Austria. He headed to the U.S. in 1987. Klebl was on the American Para Nordic team at the 2006 and 2010 Paralympic Games.
He suffered the back injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down in a snowboarding accident in Colorado in 1995. He moved north to Canmore, Alta., to join the Canadian national team for the 2011 world championship at which he took the world crown in the 15-kilometre and silver in the sprint. The following season, Klebl racked up six World Cup medals to leave no doubt he would be a serious medal contender heading into Sochi 2014.
At the World Cup in Cable, Wisconsin in January, 2012, Klebl won the silver medal in the 15-kilometre, four months after breaking his leg.
In six years with the U.S. team, the University of Syracuse economics graduate earned more than a dozen World Cup medals as well as 11 U.S. national titles.