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Sports Wilkie races to bronze in Paralympic debut

18:35  14 march  2018
18:35  14 march  2018 Source:   msn.com

Canada aims to top 16 Paralympic medals

  Canada aims to top 16 Paralympic medals Canada aims to top 16 Paralympic medalsThat was almost three decades ago.

Canada’s Mark Arendz raced to bronze in the men’s 10 k standing classic race for his fifth medal of the week (including a biathlon gold ) and seventh of his Paralympic career. “This is crazy awesome,” Wilkie said after winning the last individual race of her first Paralympics , according to a Cross

She made her Paralympic debut during the 2018 Winter Paralympics at the age of 17.[1] Natalie Wilkie claimed a bronze medal in the women's 1.5km sprint classic standing cross-country skiing event as a part of the ^ "Paralympian Natalie Wilkie races to the podium - Sicamous Eagle Valley News".

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of - Karin Huster had just arrived home from work and walked in the front door when the phone rang. It was her daughter's school principal. He said her daughter Natalie Wilkie had her hand stuck in the jointer machine in wood shop class.

"I didn't really know what that meant. Is it just a matter of undoing it, or was there an actual injury involved?" Huster said.

a person posing for the camera© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

Over the next harrowing hour, an ambulance, fire truck, search and rescue, and a medevac helicopter arrived on the scene, while Huster remained on the phone, instructed not to bolt for the school because her daughter would likely be gone before she got there.

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  McKeever to carry Canada's flag at ceremonies McKeever to carry Canada's flag at ceremoniesThe 38-year-old visually impaired skier from Canmore, Alta., has owned the top of the medal podium, going undefeated in Paralympic competition since 2006.

On Wednesday, Wilkie won bronze in the 1.5 km sprint. But she really announced her arrival to Canada — and the world — on Friday with the first of what promises to be many Paralympic titles on her resume. "I didn't think I would get gold at all," Wilkie said.

Natalie Wilkie , the youngest member of Canada’s Paralympic team at 17, raced to a thrilling gold in the standing women’s 7.5 kilometres while Emily Young of North Vancouver, B.C., claimed bronze .

As things progressed, paramedics told Huster the situation looked bleak. Her daughter's fingers probably couldn't be saved.

"I told the paramedic 'Tell her I'm thinking of her, I'm right here,'" Huster said. "That was one of the worst parts was not being there. My kid was in an accident and I couldn't be there. You just want to be there, and take care of them. That was hard."

A year and a half later, the 17-year-old Wilkie is the youngest member of Canada's Paralympic team in Pyeongchang, and when she raced to bronze on Wednesday in cross-country's 1.5-kilometre sprint classic, Huster barely left her side. A Canadian flag tucked under one arm, and a smile that never left her face, she walked with Wilkie through the media interview area. They posed for pictures arm-in-arm.

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Natalie Wilkie , the youngest member of Canada’s Paralympic team at 17, raced to a thrilling gold in the standing women’s 7.5 kilometres while Emily Young of North Vancouver, B.C., claimed bronze .

Natalie Wilkie , the youngest member of Canada’s Paralympic team at 17, raced to a thrilling gold in the standing women’s 7.5 kilometres while Emily Young of North Vancouver, B.C., claimed bronze .

"Natalie to me is a very resilient young woman," Huster said. "She's got some inner strength."

Anna Milenina, a neutral athlete from Russia, won gold in five minutes 11.1 seconds. Norway's Vilde Nilsen crossed 3.1 seconds back, and Wilkie had a huge kick down the home stretch to miss silver by just a tenth of a second.

"It's cool to think of how far I've come from my accident," Wilkie said.

It was in the final few days of the school year, and Wilkie had finished all her projects, but figured she'd make a sign for fun. Jointers plane the side of wood, and as Wilkie was pushing the wood through, it kicked back and because her weight was going forward, her hand went into the machine.

She stuck a foot out and kicked the emergency stop button, and then sat in a chair for the next hour while paramedics searched the jointer's instruction manual trying to figure out how to disassemble the machine.

She was eventually flown to Kelowna to repair the wound. Her four fingers couldn't be saved.

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Natalie Wilkie (born 21 January 2001) is a Canadian Paralympic cross-country skier. She made her Paralympic debut during the 2018 Winter Paralympics at the age of 17. Natalie Wilkie claimed a bronze medal in the women's 1.5km sprint classic standing cross-country skiing event as a part of the

Robinson wins gold in debut Paralympic final. Northampton’s Ellie Robinson swam a fantastic final race in the Women’s S6 50m Butterfly to claim a gold medal on day two of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Susie Rodgers of Beckenham SC added a bronze to the Paralympics GB tally.

"I had already known my fingers were gone, ever since they took my hand out of the machine. I was told not to look, but I did," Wilkie said, her left hand stuffed in a Canada tuque. "I remember thinking that I didn't have my fingers anymore. That was a really horrible experience. I don't think anybody should have to go through that."

Wilkie was back at school a week later.

"It was a lot for her to process, she needed constant support. It was quite difficult for her to leave the hospital and come out into the real world with the injury, it was such a harsh reminder of what had happened, how things had changed," Huster said. "The first day home we just did a little walk outside.

"But once she was home, it was like she just got a grip on things and said 'OK, now what?'"

Already a promising cross-country skier, she attended her's club's out-of-town training camp just two weeks after the accident.

"The training was something she'd done before the accident, and so it just gave her a sense of normalcy and something to do," Huster said. "The training camp she went to, the coaches were very supportive. I remember sending bandage changes and her medicines along, the coaches looked after her wound."

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The gold medal completed the Paralympic medal set for Canada in this sport, following bronze in Lillehammer 1994 and silver in Nagano 1998 . In total, four veteran athletes of the Torino team participated on each of these teams. Best Games Debut .

Among them: Natalie Wilkie , a 17-year-old cross-country skier who won gold, silver and bronze in her Paralympic debut ; downhill skier Mollie Jepsen, who raced to four medals including one gold; and Liam Hickey and Corbyn Smith, a pair of 19-year-olds on Canada’s Para ice hockey team.

Wilkie also competes in able-bodied races. Her coaches helped her develop an extra wrap to help her better grip her ski pole. She'd like to be like Paralympic star Brian McKeever, who races both Paralympic and able-bodied.

Her able-bodied racing improved after her accident. She won bronze at her last national championships.

"That was kind of a surprise," Wilkie said. "I don't know why. Maybe because I was more determined. My accident made me feel like I had nothing to lose anymore. And I just worked my way up from there. You realize how much you depend on things (when you almost lose them)."

Huster praised the Paralympic community for welcoming them from the "very get-go."

"Because everybody has similar stories to tell," she said. "Even if it was a birth defect, everybody has similar adjustments to go through. And all of the parents have worked very hard to support their children in reaching beyond what maybe they initially thought they maybe could do."

Canada gunning for gold in Para ice hockey .
Canada gunning for gold in Para ice hockey"Plus we had to pay for our travel and all our own food. We were eating fast food. We had 4 a.m., 5 a.m. ice times, because that's all we could afford, the cheap ice," Bridges said.

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