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Canada's McKeever denied shot at history

Fourth-Place Medal

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There has been a lot of back-and-forth on Twitter over legally blind Canadian cross-country skier Brian McKeever being denied his chance to be the first to compete in both the Winter Games and the Paralympics.

Canadian coach Dave Wood, with only four sports in the race, decided McKeever was his fifth-best skier. McKeever, 30, who suffers from a degenerative eye condition, said he was "crushed" by the coach's choice.

"McKeever was informed by Canadian coach Dave Wood that four other Canadian men will start, the maximum allowed by any country.

"After some serious reflection, Wood decided that McKeever was the fifth best skier on the team and that he owed it to Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, George Grey and Ivan Babikov to allow them to compete."

The National Post columnist Bruce Arthur tweeted, "That Brian McKeever decision makes me sick. The guy won nationals, they parade him around, Kershaw's been bad, and then ... no race. Brutal."

There is the devil's advocate argument. McKeever made the team on merit and this decision was made on merit. Meantime, you could argue the reaction indirectly discounts the Paralympics, whose competitors have worked just as hard and are as if not more inspirational. It hurts now like it does for any athlete who isn't chosen.

Meantime, some have suggested one of the four pull a "Rudy" and offer McKeever his spot. Not to mention that giving up one's spot runs counter to any competitor's true nature, especially since it's the final race of the Games. It all adds up to an undeniably sad story.

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