Yukoner Graham Nishikawa will be heading to the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games to guide the most decorated winter Paralympian in Canadian history.
Nishikawa is one of 49 athletes including four guides and support staff the Canadian Paralymic Committee confirmed in a Feb. 20 release as members of the 2022 Canadian Paralympic Team.
Nishikawa and Russell Kennedy will be Para nordic skier Brian McKeever’s guides in the upcoming games, which will be held from March 4-13.
Overall, McKeever has won 17 medals, including 13 gold, two silver and two bronze, in five Paralympic Games since 2002, and continues to maintain his rank among the top visually impaired cross-country skiers in the world.
Nishikawa is a 38-year-old man from Whitehorse, where he began his ski career exploring trails. His biography on the Team Canada website says he was drawn to cross-country skiing because “it combined great camaraderie, activity and the outdoors.”
Nishikawa has hit the snowy terrain in the 2014 and 2018 Paralympics where he was part of multiple medal performances as a guide for McKeever.
With Nishikawa as his guide, McKeever struck gold in the 10-kilometre and 20-kilometre races and bronze in the four by 2.5-kilometre relay in 2018, and McKeever won the one-kilometre sprint in 2014.
“I am so proud to be supporting every member of this team in Beijing,” Josh Dueck, who is in charge of the Canadian team, said in the release.
Canada will be participating in all five winter sports: Para nordic skiing, including biathlon and cross-country, Para ice hockey, Para alpine skiing, wheelchair curling and Para snowboarding.
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org