FasterSkier Adaptive Skier of the Year
Adaptive Skier of the Year (men):
Brian McKeever (CAN) McKeever continued his dominance of the adaptive skiing circuit, collecting three cross-country golds at the IPC World Championships and a silver in biathlon.
All this hardware came without longtime guide, brother Robin McKeever, who suffered an injury not long before the start of the Championships. Long-time friend, and Erik Carleton took over, and McKeever did not miss a beat.
McKeever, who skis in the visually impaired category, did not race on the IPC World Cup this season, but as in the past, he contested a number of elite able-bodied events.
The 2010 Olympian posted a seventh place finish in the Canadian National Championship 50k and placed third in the final stage of the February NorAm mni-tour.
McKeever ended the season ranked a career-best 14th in the overall NorAm standings.
Chris Klebl (CAN) Klebl switched allegiance in 2011, moving north and taking Canadian colors. The move obviously suited him as he left the IPC World Championships in Khanty-Mansyisk, Russia with a gold and silver in the 15km cross-country and the sprint respectively.
Klebl, skiing in the sitting classification, contested all seven IPC World Cup events, and was ranked fourth in the world when the season came to an end.
Mark Arendz (CAN) Arendz won three IPC World Cup biathlon races, and had two seconds and a third on his way to second in the overall standings – just four points down Nils-Erik Ulset (NOR).
Arendz was shut out of the medals at the World Championships, but had two fourths and a sixth in three starts. He also raced cross-conutry World Cup events, scoring points in four races, including a
Sean Halsted (USA) Halsted lacked the top results of his Canadian counterparts, but had an impressively consistent season, racing both cross-country and biathlon.
Halsted scored points in six of seven World Cup biathlon races, ranking tenth overall. He was even better on the cross-country side, finishing in the points in every race – good enough for sixth in the World Cup standings.
Adaptive Skier of the Year (women):
Jody Barber (CAN) Barber, like Halsted on the men’s side, was the ultimate renaissance woman on the trails in 2011.
She placed fifth in the biathlon World Cup, finishing in the top six in six of seven events. In cross-country, she skied to a sixth in the overall, buoyed by two podium appearances.
At the World Championships, Barber came close to a medal, finishing fourth twice and fifth twice in four starts.
Barber, a teacher and mother of five, is in just her fourth season of competing in cross-country and biathlon.
Colette Bourgonje (CAN) Last year’s winner of this award, Bourgonje took a break from World Cup racing, but did make the trip to Khanty-Mansyisk for the World Championships.
The journey was worth it as she won gold in the 10km sit-ski event, bettering the silver she won last year.
Brian McKeever (CAN)
Andy Soule (USA)
Colette Bourgonje (CAN)
FasterSkier Awards 2011:
Rookie of the Year
Breakthrough Skier of the Year
Collegiate Skier of the Year
Adaptive Skier of the Year
Continental Skier of the Year
Biathlete of the Year
Nordic Combined Skier of the Year
Performance of the Year (cross-country, biathlon, nordic combined)
Cross-Country Skier of the Year
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.