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Salmon Arm Paralympic skier nabs silver medal at World Cup opener in Finland

Natalie Wilkie joins teammates on the podium, racking up three silver, one bronze medal
Salmon Arm’s Natalie Wilkie returned home with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal in nordic skiing from the March 2022 Beijing Paralympics Winter Games. (Dave Holland/ photo)

Salmon Arm skier Natalie Wilkie took second place in her division at Canada’s Para-Nordic Open World Cup opener, adding to the Canadian team’s trio of silver medals won so far this weekend.

Wilkie, along with teammates Christina Picton (Fonthill, Ont.), Collin Cameron (Bracebridge, Ont.) and Lyne-Marie Bilodeau (Magog, Ont.) competed in Vuokatti, Finland on Friday, Dec. 9 and began the Paralympic quadrennial event with the three silver medals and a bronze.

Wilkie has won seven Paralympic medals in two previous Games.

21-year-old Wilkie achieved a time of 16:55 in her women’s standing classification, landing in second place. She finished just over 30 seconds behind the first place winner.

“My focus today was on skiing technically well and following my race plan, so earning the silver medal was the cherry on top,” Wilkie said in a release.

“The team pulled together some great results today, fighting through some challenging grip in greasy snow conditions,” she said.

In the release, the new coaching staff of the Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team was mentioned and Wilkie was noticed for taking a leadership role in the program.

“There were definitely some cobwebs and pre-race jitters to shake out for all of us today, but I think overall, the athletes, coaches and wax techs all had a great start to the World Cup season,” said Wilkie.

The Para-Nordic World Cup resumes Sunday in Vuokatti with the skate-sprint events.

READ MORE: Salmon Arm Paralympian Natalie Wilkie reflects on expectations, success at 2022 Games

READ MORE: Natalie Wilkie, 7-time Paralympic medallist, honoured by Salmon Arm council


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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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