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.