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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
a male Para Nordic skier

Mark Arendz

Nordic Skiing
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Mark Arendz had a promising start to the season. The Canadian won gold in the men’s cross-country middle distance standing at the World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland. He also claimed two silvers and one bronze in biathlon.

It was his return to competition after a superb performance at PyeongChang 2018, where he became the first Canadian to win six medals overall at a single edition of the Winter Paralympics.

Arendz won his maiden Winter Paralympic title in the biathlon long distance. The Nordic skier went on to seal silver in the biathlon sprint and cross-country mixed relay; and bronze in the biathlon middle distance, and cross-country middle distance and sprint races.

Before that, Arendz celebrated two golds, one silver and one bronze at Finsterau 2017, his best performance at a World Championships. He was the fastest in both the biathlon middle distance and sprint events.

He also finished second in the 2016-2017 Biathlon World Cup overall rankings.

Arendz has competed at two other Paralympic Winter Games: Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, where he won one silver and one bronze in biathlon. He was also named 2014 Senior Male Athlete of the Year in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

He first tried skiing at age five. Two years later, he was involved in a farm accident which resulted in the amputation of his left arm above the elbow. He was attempting to put corn into a corn auger and lost his balance.

Arendz still continued practising the sport, even taking part in able-bodied skiing competitions. After watching the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Games, he became especially interested in biathlon.

He developed a deep sense of community after neighbouring farmers, friends and strangers from his hometown helped his family while he was recovering from the amputation of his arm following his accident.

"After my accident, I quickly witnessed how a community comes together through a traumatic time. Since then I have always been driven to give back to that community.”

In 2014 he worked with charitable organisation SchoolBOX in Nicaragua, where he helped build a school for a community that had been affected by a landslide.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW6

Further personal information

Residence
Canmore, AB, CAN
Languages
English
Higher education
Human Movement Studies - University of Calgary: Canada

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried skiing at age five, and began competing in 2003 with the use of a ski prosthetic and racing in able-bodied competitions.
Why this sport?
He became interested in biathlon after watching the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and likes the challenge of balancing endurance and power, precision and adaptation in the same race. "It is a sport where on the rare occasion you can triumph with an excellent performance in one or the other, but usually, you need to perform both on the tracks and the range to succeed. Though I know I may never achieve it, I wake up each morning excited to attempt to achieve the perfect biathlon race."
Club / Team
Rocky Mountain Racers: Canada
Name of coach
Robin McKeever [national], CAN

General interest

Hero / Idol
Canadian runner Terry Fox. "His attitude to not give up no matter what obstacles stood in his way can only be described as heroic. He took a great tragedy of losing his leg and changed the world." (canadianathletesnow.ca, 15 Aug 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If you want to kick the tiger in his ass you'd better have a plan for dealing with his teeth." [Tom Clancy] (canadianathletesnow.ca, 15 Aug 2013)
Awards and honours
He received the Order of Prince Edward Island in 2018 in Canada. (paralympic.org, 06 Dec 2018; assembly.pe.ca, 01 Oct 2018)

In 2018 Brookvale Provincial Park in Prince Edward Island, Canada, was named after him. (paralympic.org, 06 Dec 2018)

He was named Best Male Athlete of the Year in 2018 by the Canadian Paralympic Committee. (newswire.ca, 30 Oct 2018)

He was Canada's flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (cbc.ca, 03 Jun 2018)

In 2014 a ski trail in Brookvale, PE, Canada, was renamed 'Mark's A2Z Trail' in his honour. (theguardian.pe.ca, 19 Dec 2014; cbc.ca, 19 Dec 2014)

He was named 2014 Senior Male Athlete of the Year in Prince Edward Island, Canada. He also received the Lieutenant Governor's Award. (portpei.pe.ca, 09 Feb 2015)

He was named 2013 Senior Male Athlete of the Year in Prince Edward Island, Canada. He also received the Bill Halpenny Award and the Lieutenant Governor's Award. (portpei.pe.ca, 11 Apr 2014)

He was named 2013 Open Male Athlete of the Year in Alberta, Canada. (cccski.com, 09 Apr 2014)
Other sports
He competed in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010 and 2014. (SportsDeskOnline, 16 Mar 2014)
Famous relatives
His younger brother Menno has competed in biathlon and triathlon at the Canada Games. (rockymountainracers.com, 20 May 2015; theguardian.pe.ca, 03 May 2014)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (cbc.ca, 03 Jun 2018)
Impairment
At age seven he was involved in a farm accident which resulted in the amputation of his left arm above the elbow. He was attempting to put corn into a corn auger and lost his balance. "I shot my arms forward, my arm got stuck between the blades. Within a second it had my arm up to the shoulder." (intaward.org, 19 Nov 2012; cccski.com, 14 Mar 2010)
Other information
COMMUNITY SUPPORT
He developed a deep sense of community after neighbouring farmers, friends and strangers from his hometown of Hartsville, PE, Canada, helped his family while he was recovering from the amputation of his arm following his accident. "After my accident, I quickly witnessed how a community comes together through a traumatic time. Since then I have always been driven to give back to that community. More recently I understood that the pride I give the community for my success is one of the greatest things I can pass along. To return home and share my experiences and the Paralympic medals is something special. It is one of the reasons I enjoy what I do." (paralympic.org, 06 Dec 2018; theguardian.pe.ca, 06 Jul 2018)

NATIONAL FIRST
By claiming six medals at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, he became the first Canadian athlete to win more than five medals at a single edition of the Paralympic Winter Games. (cbc.ca, 03 Jun 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2014 he worked with charitable organisation SchoolBOX in Nicaragua, where he helped build a school for a community that had been affected by a landslide. He has also been ambassador of social organisations such as KidSport and War Amps in Canada. (theguardian.pe.ca, 03 May 2014, 06 Jul 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games (Vancouver, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 12.5 km Individual Standing Final Round 16
Men's 3 km Pursuit Standing Qualification 7
Men's 3 km Pursuit Standing Final Round 7
Men's 1x4 / 2x5 km Relay Open Final Round 7
Men's 20 km Standing Final Round 9999
Men's 1 km Sprint Standing Qualification 9
Men's 10 km Standing Final Round 12
IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Solleftea (Solleftea, Sweden)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Sprint - Classic Standing Final 2013-02-25 12
Men's Short Distance Standing Final 2013-02-28 1
Men's Middle Distance Standing Final 2013-03-01 3
Men's Long Distance Standing Final 2013-03-03 3
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-08 2
Men's 12.5 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-11 3
Men's 15 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-14 11
Men's 10 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-16 11
2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Cable (Cable, United States of America)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Short Distance Standing Race 1 2015-01-24 6
Men's Middle Distance Standing Race 1 2015-01-27 5
Men's Long Distance Standing Race 1 2015-01-30 11
Men's Middle Distance - Classic Standing Race 1 2015-01-31 4
Mixed Relay Final 2015-02-01 4
2017 IPC Nordic skiing World Championships Finsterau, GER (Finsterau, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Middle Distance Standing Final 2017-02-11 1
Men's Long Distance Standing Final 2017-02-14 2
Open Relay Final 2017-02-15 3
Men's Long Distance - Classic Standing Final 2017-02-16 5
Men's Sprint Standing Final 2017-02-18 1
Men's Middle Distance - Free Style Standing Final 2017-02-19 3
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5km Standing Final 2018-03-10 2
Men's 12.5km Standing Final 2018-03-13 3
Men's 1.5km Sprint Classic Standing Final 2018-03-14 3
Men's 15km Standing Final 2018-03-16 1
Men's 10km Classic Standing Final 2018-03-17 3
4x2.5km Mixed Relay Final 2018-03-18 2
Prince George 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships (Prince George, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Middle Distance Standing Final 2019-02-16 3
Men's Middle Distance - Free Style Standing Final 2019-02-17 2
Men's Sprint Standing Final 2019-02-20 3
Men's Long Distance Standing Final 2019-02-21 2
Mixed Relay Final 2019-02-23 2
Men's Long Distance - Classic Standing Final 2019-02-24 2