Canada ended its Paralympic Games with a pair of gold medals in cross country skiing in Sochi.
Chris Klebl of Canmore, Alta., won the men’s 10-kilometre sit-ski race, while Calgary’s Brian McKeever won his third gold medal of the week in the 10-km skate-ski visually impaired category.
Klebl, 42, clocked a time of 30 minutes, 52 seconds ahead of Ukraine’s Maksym Yarovyi (31:06.5) and Russia’s Grigory Murygin (31:18.2).
“It feels pretty good for sure,” Klebl said. “I have exceptional skis for wet, sloppy conditions and today we got exactly those conditions. It just feels good. We prepare for this over and over and over again to try and get things to line up, and today it did.”
A three-time Paralympian, Klebl grew up in Austria and moved to Canmore to join the Canadian national team from the United States following the 2010 Games.
Battling race fatigue and strong headwinds, the 34-year-old McKeever gutted out his win in 23:18.1.
“That one was tough. It hurt,” said McKeever. “I woke up this morning and didn’t feel great. It was all on the guides again today. They did such a good job with the headwind. I was able to tuck in behind them and save a lot of energy. By the time we got to the last lap there was still a little gas left to get us by today.”
With both medals, Canada raised its gold-medal count to seven, good enough for third behind Germany (nine) and Russia (30).