OTTAWA - A veteran group of 12 athletes, including 2018 flag-bearers Brian McKeever and Mark Arendz, represent Canada at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Canada's team announced Wednesday includes eight Paralympic medalists and 10 members of the squad that captured a record 16 medals four years ago in Pyeongchang.
"This is an experienced group of athletes who have won medals under the most intense pressure at major international competitions including multiple times at the Paralympic Games," Kate Boyd, Nordiq Canada’s high-performance director for the Para nordic program, said in a release.
Joining Arendz of Hartsville, P.E.I., and McKeever of Canmore, Alta., are: Lyne-Marie Bilodeau (Sherbrooke, Que.), Collin Cameron (Bracebridge, Ont.), Ethan Hess (Pemberton, B.C.), Brittany Hudak (Prince Albert, Sask.), Russell Kennedy (Canmore), Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse), Christina Picton (Fonthill, Ont.), Emily Young (Kelowna, B.C.), Natalie Wilkie (Salmon Arm, B.C.), and Derek Zaplotinsky (Smoky Lake, Alta.)
Bilodeau and Picton are the two new additions to the team from the 2018 Games.
McKeever, 42, is Canada's most decorated Winter Paralympian, with 17 medals. Beijing will be his sixth Games, and he will be looking for more hardware in the men's visual impaired category of cross-country races alongside guides Kennedy and Nishikawa.
The 31-year-old Arendz was Canada's most prolific medallist in 2018. He won a gold, silver and bronze in the biathlon and two bronze cross-country medals in Pyeongchang.
Wilkie headlines a strong women's contingent that includes fellow medallists Hudak and Young. The 21-year-old Wilkie made her Paralympic debut in 2018 as a 17-year-old and won three medals, including a gold in the 7.5-kilometre standing cross-country skiing race.
The 2022 Paralympics will take place March 4-13.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.