Nishikawa, McKeever finish para worlds with three medals

Canada’s Para-Nordic Cross-Country Ski Team got a boost from the Yukon last week.

Canada’s Para-Nordic Cross-Country Ski Team got a boost from the Yukon last week.

Whitehorse’s Graham Nishikawa was guide for Paralympic legend Brian McKeever at the Para-Nordic World Championships in Finsterau, Germany, helping him win two gold and a bronze.

“We had a great week of racing for sure. Brian and I both felt better as the week went on. Brian is an incredible athlete who is still at the top of his game,” said Nishikawa in an email to the News. “It’s an honour and a pleasure to be able to be part of his success. Most important for me was to see the rest of the team do so well. Our whole program is definitely maturing.”

McKeever, who lives in Canmore, Alta., was competing in the men’s visually impaired division.

Nishikawa, 33, and McKeever, 37, captured gold in the 20-kilometre classic on Feb. 16. They finished with a time of 57 minutes and 35.40 seconds, almost three minutes ahead of the silver medalist as the only in the division to break the one-hour mark.

“Our performances are showing that things are moving back in the right direction after being sick around Christmas. Graham is in incredible shape right now, and a step above me which is important for us,” said McKeever in a Cross Country Canada press release.

The duo then snatched gold in the 10-kilometre skate race on Feb. 19 with a time of 22:15.1.

“The 10K skate was a challenge with a couple of very strong competitors so being able to pull off that victory was great,” said Nishikawa.

They opened the worlds helping Canada win its first-ever relay bronze at the para worlds on Feb. 15. McKeever and Nishikawa teamed up with Emily Young of Vancouver and Mark Arendz of P.E.I. for the historic win.

McKeever, who began losing his vision in his late teens due to a form of macular degeneration called Stargardt’s disease, is a 13-time Paralympic medalist. He and Nishikawa have been working together since the Sochi Paralympic Games in 2014 where McKeever won three gold.

Nishikawa is a former member of the national able-bodied cross-country ski team and is the brother of Whitehorse Olympian Emily Nishikawa.

“I really enjoy being part of the Paranordic program. Brian has been at this a long time and is a true professional,” said Graham.

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

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Yukon gets sixth case of COVID-19, three have recovered

Dr. Brendan Hanley said there is a sixth case in Whitehorse but three have recovered

White River First Nation calls on premier to stop mining activity

An influx of miners in the area is causing concern

Whitehorse city council holds off on purchasing Seventh Avenue property

Would be a “costly endeavour for the city”, says councillor

Driving with Jens: Resources in a COVID-19 World

We are living in unprecedented times. Social distancing, quarantines and businesses closed… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Don’t be that person

Back in the Yukon’s early days, visitors were often astonished at how… Continue reading

Victoria Gold still operating Eagle Gold mine with COVID-19 precautions in place

The mine is still in operation but with precautions, including social distancing, in place

YTA, Yukon government reach agreement on hiring dispute out of court

YTA’s petition was set to be heard March 25 but was called off after the parties reached an agreement

City hall, briefly

Here’s a look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its… Continue reading

Skagway has resolve in the COVID-19 struggle, mayor says

Skagway mayor said border access is important for residents.

Yukonomist: Steering your business through COVID-19

While “proofing” your business against the impacts might not be possible, being prepared is.

History Hunter: How the Yukon was spared the influenza pandemic of 1918

The isolation of the Yukon then afford the territory some protection that it doesn’t have today

Most Read