Canadian cross country skier Brian McKeever won Paralympic gold in the 20-km race on Monday. McKeever had been the first visually-impaired skier to make an Olympic team, but his dreams were crushed after the Canadian coaches decided not to put him in the Olympic race. Monday's gold medal makes that a bit easier to take.
McKeever blew away the field, winning by nearly 42 seconds. He said that this was the race he was focused on.
“That was the one we were waiting to win,” said McKeever. “That’s the one we really wanted.”
McKeever is guided by his brother Robin and is the owner of five Paralympic golds, but really wanted to break through and race in the Olympics. Still, he said that he's ready to move on from that disappointment.
“We are never going to forget what happened but this helps us move on,” the 30-year-old McKeever said. “We still have more racing to go and more things to look ahead to.”
McKeever's plan to race in the Olympics was inspirational, but he (and his fans) should not be disheartened by the fact that he didn't actually race in the Olympics. He is an Olympian, and nothing will take that away.
If anything, it's more inspirational that McKeever didn't pack up his gear and go home to sulk after he wasn't chosen to race. He not only stayed to represent Canada in the Paralympics, but won gold. That sort of resilience shows the very best of the Olympic spirit.