Brian McKeever will make history at the 2010 Olympic Games by becoming the first winter sport athlete to compete at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. McKeever suffers from Stargardt’s disease, a degenerative vision condition that leaves the 30-year-old Canadian with only the use of his peripheral vision. A four-time gold medalist at the 2002 and 2006 Paralympic Games, McKeever, younger brother to Robin McKeever (1998 Canadian Olympic Team), was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease at the age of 19, but continued to compete with the aid of an on course guide, often his brother. In Vancouver however, McKeever will rely upon careful course inspection, the ability to make out blurry shapes in front of him and, ideally, the opportunity to ski behind other athletes to maneuver through the Whistler course.
McKeever earned his spot on the Olympic Team based largely on his first place finish in the 50K classic race at the Olympic Trials. “I want to go in as prepared as I can, be in the best shape of my life and have the best race I can,” said McKeever in late January article in the Vancouver Sun. “If I do that, then it doesn’t matter what place I come. I believe that on my best day I’m as competitive as any of our best guys. Time will tell, but there’s a great belief within our team that we’re going to have a breakthrough from somebody.”
McKeever has seven World Cup starts in his career, as well as a 21st place finish in the 15K freestyle race at the 2007 World Championships and five podium results at the Canadian National Championships.