Graham Nishikawa named to Sochi Paralympics team

Two Nishikawas will be wearing Canadian red and white in Sochi after all.

Two Nishikawas will be wearing Canadian red and white in Sochi after all.

Whitehorse cross-country skier Graham Nishikawa has been named to Canada’s team for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Cross Country Canada announced Tuesday.

Graham, the brother of Emily Nishikawa who is competing at the Sochi Olympics in cross-country skiing, will be a guide for famed Paralympian Brian McKeever of Canmore, Alta.

“It’s a totally new and exciting event and I’m very honoured that they wanted me to come along,” said Nishikawa. “It is very rewarding helping other people out. It’s a nice change taking the focus off myself.”

Graham, who is a member of the national development team, was not selected for Team Canada following the Olympic Trials last month in Canmore. He will be one of three guides on the Paralympic team that includes 11 para-Nordic skiers and biathletes. Graham will be McKeever’s secondary guide after his main guide, Erik Carleton of Canmore.

“Brian and I have been really good friends the past 10 years,” said Nishikawa. “We made a good situation work where I joined their training group and we trained together all summer.

“I knew this was in the cards and they were interested in having me come along as a backup guide for Brian, in case he needed another guide.

“I was very happy to be able to join their team.”

McKeever, who is legally blind, made headlines leading up the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010, becoming the first athlete named to Canada’s Paralympic and Olympic teams the same year. However, he did not end up racing in the Vancouver Olympics. He did win three gold at the 2010 Paralympics, bringing his Paralympics medal count up to 10, including one in biathlon from Torino in 2006.

Graham has actually never performed guide duties for McKeever in an official race before.

“I’ve trained with him essentially every day of the year, so I’m very familiar with how we ski,” said Nishikawa. “Erik Carleton is his primary guide and I’ll be there in case they need me.

“One of them would be a sprint race and a lot of drafting comes into to play there, leading him for a certain amount of time as hard as I can go, and then he can slingshot around to the finish,” said Nishikawa. “The 20-kilometre is mostly skiing together … working together as a team.”

“I try to stay in front of him throughout the whole race and helping him if there are tricky corners, telling him left or right,” he added.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place March 7-16 following the Olympic Games.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Whitehorse RCMP will provide internet safety training due to an uptick of child luring offences. (iStock photo)
RCMP hosting internet safety webinars for parents and caregivers

The webinars will take place on March 23 and 25

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

Most Read