Legally Blind Canadian Skier McKeever Wins Paralympic Cross Country Gold

VANCOUVER, March 15 (Reuters) – Brian McKeever won a gold medal at the Vancouver Paralympics on Monday, less than a month after the legally blind Canadian cross-country skier lost his bid to compete in the Olympics.

McKeever pulled into the lead midway through the 20km cross-country competition for visually-impaired athletes and held on to win Canada’s first gold of this year’s Winter Paralympics.

McKeever was set last month to become the first athlete to compete in both the Winter Olympics and Paralympics but a last-minute decision by Canadian coaches left him out of the 50km competition at the Vancouver Games.

The popular 30-year-old athlete from Canmore, Alberta suffers from Stargardt’s disease, which has left him with only 10 percent normal vision.

McKeever won a place on the Olympic team by winning a 50km race for able-bodied skiers in January. His brother Robin serves as his full-vision guide on the course during the Paralympic races.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing Ed Osmond)

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