McKeever Qualifies for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic and Olympic Games

Nordic skier Brian McKeever will become the first athlete to compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in the same year

VANCOUVER, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) would like to congratulate Paralympian Brian McKeever on being named to the cross-country team for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, which will give him the distinction of being the first athlete to compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic Winter Games in the same year.

McKeever is one of Canada's most decorated athletes, with a total of seven medals, including four gold, two silver, and one bronze medals won at the 2002 and 2006 Paralympic Winter Games. In 2005, McKeever was the Canadian national champion, and in 2007, he earned the top Canadian result in an able-bodied World Championship. Competing in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the same winter has long been a goal of his.

"Brian's accomplishment stands as a testament to the high-performance abilities of our Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter athletes," said Blair McIntosh, chef de mission for the 2010 Canadian Paralympic team. "It shows that the athleticism of our Paralympic athletes has truly reached a world-class level and we are excited to watch Team Canada go for gold in both Games later this winter."

McKeever competes in Para-Nordic skiing as a B3 classified visually-impaired athlete, which means he has less than 10 per cent functional vision. His brother, Robin, who took part in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games, acts as his guide for Para-Nordic events. When competing in able-bodied races, Brian skis alone by studying the course and committing it to memory.

"By being selected for both the 2010 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams, Brian has made history and while competing in both Games, he will help Canadians to understand the exceptional athletic ability of Paralympic athletes," added Henry Storgaard, chief executive officer, Canadian Paralympic Committee. "We hope Brian's story will inspire more Canadians with a disability to become involved in sport and pursue a dream of representing Canada in international high-performance competition."

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is a non-profit, private organization with 43 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement by empowering Canadians with a disability through sport. The CPC is responsible for managing the team of athletes who represent Canada at Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the CPC inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its members. For more information visit, www.paralympic.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

For further information: For further information: Marie-Hélène Cayer, 2010 Team Communications, Canadian Paralympic Committee, (778) 329-0328; Mike Cvitkovic, Press Chief, 2010 Canadian Paralympic Team, (416) 618-1266; Chris Dornan, Media and Public Relations, Cross Country Canada, (281) 703-4394


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