Brian McKeever

Brian McKeever

 

Brian McKeever, who made history in 2010 when he was named to both the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams, retained his position as the top visually impaired cross country skier in the world in 2016-17. At the IPC Para-Nordic World Championships in February 2017, McKeever won gold medals in the 10 kilometre and 20 kilometre cross country races with his guide Graham Nishikawa and also helped Canada to a first ever podium finish in the 4x2.5 kilometre relay placing third.

At the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, McKeever collected gold medals in the 20-kilometre, 10-kilometre and one-kilometre sprint with his guides Erik Carleton and Nishikawa. His victory in the one kilometre was particularly memorable as he overcame a fall at the start and overtook the leader on the final bend to win it.

In 2010, McKeever did not start in the Olympic races in Whistler, but a month later collected three gold medals at the Paralympics, guided by his brother Robin, to add to his already impressive career haul.

Overall, McKeever has won 13 Paralympic medals in four Games, including 10 gold, the most victories ever by a Canadian winter Paralympian. He has competed at every world championships since 2003 and won 19 titles.

The 10 Paralympic gold medals total matches the amount earned by summer Paralympians wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc and swimmers Michael Edgson and Timothy McIsaac.

McKeever races on both the able-bodied and Para Nordic World Cup circuits. One of his able-bodied competition highlights was a 21st place in the 15 km freestyle at the 2007 FIS World Championships in Sapporo, Japan.

One of his idols is U.S. distance runner Marla Runyan, who also has Stargardt disease. She competed at the Olympic Games in 2000 and Paralympic Games in 1992 and 1996.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

10 Paralympic Games gold medals and 19 world titles… In 2016 he and his brother Robin received a Meritorious Service Medal [civil division] from the Governor General of Canada, in recognition of their sporting achievements… He was named the Best Male Athlete at the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards…First Canadian athlete to be named to Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games teams (2010)… Selected as the Canadian flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony of the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City…

PERSONAL

At age 19, McKeever was diagnosed with Stargardt disease (a macular degeneration or loss of central vision – fine detail and colour), which had also afflicted his father. “If you stare at the sun for a long time and turn away, you get these fuzzy spots. Well for me, the fuzzy spots don’t go away,” said McKeever describing his vision.

His brother Robin was a Nordic skier who represented Canada at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. Robin has also served as his guide, and is now the national Para Nordic head coach…

Started skiing at age three... Entered his first competitive race at age 12… Coach Kaspar Wirz introduced him to the visually impaired skier category of the Para Nordic ski world…

Named Best Male Athlete at the 2007 IPC Paralympic Sports Awards…. Was the first Canadian athlete with a disability to ski in an able-bodied international event in 2007.

NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS

2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 10 km cross country – 1st

2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 20 km cross country – 1st

2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 4X2.5 km cross country relay – 3rd

2015 Para-Nordic World Championships – 20 km cross country – 1st

2014 Paralympic Winter Games – 10 km cross country – 1st

2014 Paralympic Winter Games – 20 km cross country – 1st

2014 Paralympic Winter Games – 1 km cross country – 1st

2013 Para-Nordic World Championships – 20 km cross country – 1st

2013 Para-Nordic World Championships – 1 km cross country – 1st

2011 Para-Nordic World Championships – 20 km cross country – 1st

2011 Para-Nordic World Championships – 10 km cross country – 1st

2011 Para-Nordic World Championships – 1 km cross country – 1st

2011 Para-Nordic World Championships – 12.5 km biathlon – 2nd

2010 Paralympic Winter Games – 10 km cross country – 1st

2010 Paralympic Winter Games – 20 km cross country – 1st

2010 Paralympic Winter Games – 1 km cross country – 1st

2009 Para-Nordic World Championships – 20 km cross country – 1st

2009 Para-Nordic World Championships – 10 km cross country – 1st

2009 Para-Nordic World Championships – 1 km cross country – 2nd

2009 Para-Nordic World Championships – 12.5 km biathlon – 2nd

2006 Paralympic Winter Games – 10 km cross country – 1st

2006 Paralympic Winter Games – 20 km cross country – 2nd

2006 Paralympic Winter Games – 1 km cross country – 1st

2006 Paralympic Winter Games – 7.5 km biathlon - 3rd

2005 Para-Nordic World Championships – 20 km cross country – 1st

2005 Para-Nordic World Championships – 10 km cross country – 1st

2005 Para-Nordic World Championships – 5 km cross country – 1st

2005 Para-Nordic World Championships – 7.5 km biathlon – 1st

2003 Para-Nordic World Championships – 20 km cross country – 1st

2003 Para-Nordic World Championships – 10 km cross country – 1st

2003 Para-Nordic World Championships – 5 km cross country – 1st

2003 Para-Nordic World Championships – 7.5 km biathlon – 1st

2003 Para-Nordic World Championships – 12.5 km biathlon – 1st

2002 Paralympic Winter Games – 10 km cross country – 1st

2002 Paralympic Winter Games – 20 km cross country – 2nd

2002 Paralympic Winter Games – 1 km cross country – 1st

Medals

GamesSportEventMedal
2014 Sochi ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing20km Visually Impaired - Mengold
2014 Sochi ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing10km Visually Impaired - Mensgold
2014 Sochi ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing1km Sprint Visually Impaired - Mengold
2010 Vancouver ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing10km Visually Impaired - Mensgold
2010 Vancouver ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing1km Sprint Visually Impaired - Mengold
2010 Vancouver ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing20km Visually Impaired - Mengold
2006 Torino ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing10km Freestyle - Mengold
2006 Torino ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing5km Freestyle - Mengold
2002 Salt Lake City ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing10km Freestyle - Mengold
2002 Salt Lake City ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing5km Classic - Mengold
2006 Torino ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing20km Classic - Mensilver
2002 Salt Lake City ParalympicsPara-Nordic skiing20km Freestyle - Mensilver
2006 Torino ParalympicsBiathlon7.5km Individual - Menbronze

Summary

Games Sport Event Result
2014 Sochi Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 10km Visually Impaired - Mens 1
2014 Sochi Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 1km Sprint Visually Impaired - Men 1
2014 Sochi Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 4 x 2.5km Relay - Open 4
2014 Sochi Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 20km Visually Impaired - Men 1
2010 Vancouver Paralympics Biathlon 3km Pursuit Visually Impaired - Mens 6
2010 Vancouver Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 20km Visually Impaired - Men 1
2010 Vancouver Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 10km Visually Impaired - Mens 1
2010 Vancouver Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 1km Sprint Visually Impaired - Men 1
2006 Torino Paralympics Biathlon 12.5km Individual - Men 8
2006 Torino Paralympics Biathlon 7.5km Individual - Men 3
2006 Torino Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 10km Freestyle - Men 1
2006 Torino Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 5km Freestyle - Men 1
2006 Torino Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 20km Classic - Men 2
2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics Biathlon Biathlon - Men 6
2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 10km Freestyle - Men 1
2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 20km Freestyle - Men 2
2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics Para-Nordic skiing 5km Classic - Men 1