Mark Arendz set the bar impossibly excessive by climbing the medal podium in each one among his six races on the Pyeongchang Paralympics in 2018.
It was a Canadian report for medals received at a Winter Paralympics.
And so, a fourth-place end within the standing 20-kilometre cross-country ski on Monday didn’t sit properly with the 32-year-old from Hartsville, PEI.
Arendz rebounded with a victory within the 10-kilometre standing biathlon occasion on the Beijing Paralympics on Tuesday, with probably the most dominant performances of his profession.
“It fuelled I feel that dedication to do higher right this moment,” Arendz mentioned. “I do set the bar fairly excessive. [But] after good races, dangerous races, I appear to at all times have one other race. So, I’ve form of gotten used to or conversant in that concept of taking each the highs and the lows of various races, after which having the ability to go to the subsequent one and say: ‘What does this race want? What’s my focus for this race?’”
Arendz skied to a time of 31 minutes 45.2 seconds, and was the one athlete within the area to go an ideal 20-for-20 on the capturing vary.
The Canadian was locked in a head-to-head battle with Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi, establishing an exhilarating end. Vovchynskyi had a 14-second lead on Arendz earlier than the 2 headed into the ultimate spherical of capturing. Arendz hit each shot, whereas the Ukrainian athlete missed one, which means he needed to ski a penalty lap.
Throughout his ultimate cease on the capturing vary, Arendz might hear Canadian crew chef de mission Josh Dueck banging on the ceremonial drum, a present to the crew from Maskwacis Cree Nation.
Arendz referred to as the drum the “the heartbeat of Canada.”
“It felt fairly particular to feed off that and speed up to the end line and take the win in entrance of the Canadians cheering,” he mentioned.
His gold was his second medal in Beijing, after bronze within the 6K biathlon, and the tenth medal of his profession.
It was Canada’s solely podium efficiency on Tuesday, bringing the crew’s medal whole to 13. China leads the way in which with 27, whereas the Ukraine crew, which arrived in Beijing after a harrowing four-day journey amid the Russian invasion, is second with 17.
Arendz is among the many busiest athletes on the Video games, with three races remaining. To imitate his gruelling schedule on the Video games, he trains in blocks of back-to-back-to-back time trials inside a brief time period.
“And day by day, it’s about simply ensuring that after the race, each little bit of vitality goes into being good and being environment friendly with all of the completely different instruments that I’ve at my disposal, whether or not that’s physiotherapists, gentle jogs, issues like that, that assist me simply flush the legs out and refresh for the subsequent morning,” he mentioned.
With out one other race till Friday, he seemed ahead to sleeping in.
Arendz was seven when he misplaced his left arm in a grain auger – a protracted metallic tube with a spiral blade that strikes the grain like an elevator – on his household’s farm. He reached out to assist push the grain by means of, and misplaced his steadiness. The auger pulled him in as much as his shoulder.
Sports activities, Arendz has mentioned, has been his remedy. Studying duties comparable to buttoning his shirt ready him for the each day grind of a world-class athlete.
COVID-19 has been notably unkind to Canadian athletes, who confronted tighter journey restrictions than a lot of their rivals, and so much less worldwide competitions.
Arendz tried to seek out the chance in being grounded.
“I positively checked out it extra from a perspective of what I might acquire and what I might attempt in a different way, moderately than what I used to be dropping by way of journey, competitions, and issues like that,” he mentioned. “So, I feel there was so much to make use of from that perspective after which acquire from what we’ve been by means of for over the past two years.”
Vovchynskyi received silver Tuesday in a time of 32:18.0. Alexandr Gerlits, of Kazakhstan, skied to bronze (33:06.5).
Vovchynskyi had captured Ukraine’s first gold of the Video games within the 6K biathlon. Arendz mentioned he is aware of his rival, whose household continues to be in Ukraine, properly.
“I used to be very ecstatic for him the primary race the place he received,” Arendz mentioned. “We return fairly a number of years now. And I’m making an attempt to help not solely him, however the remainder of the crew as properly.”
On the heels of a bronze medal on Monday, Brittany Hudak of Prince Albert, Sask., completed sixth within the girls’s 10-kilometre standing classification.
Canada’s parahockey crew clinched a spot in Friday’s semi-finals, with a 6-0 victory over South Korea.
James Dunn had a hat trick and an help, whereas Tyler McGregor, Billy Bridges and Liam Hickey every had singles.
“I really like that Dunn had a breakout recreation, and we had necessary contributions from quite a lot of key gamers,” coach Ken Babey mentioned.
He praised the play of South Korea’s goaltender after the Canadians outshot their opponent 42-4.
The Canadians will face the winner of the qualifier between South Korea and Italy within the semis.
After going 4-0 to start out the Video games, Canada’s wheelchair curling crew is on a three-game slide together with a pair of losses on Tuesday – 9-4 versus South Korea and 9-8 towards Slovakia.
“We have been proper there – I simply didn’t make the draw on the finish of recreation,” Jon Thurston, who throws final rock, mentioned concerning the shut loss. “Clearly, it’s not the result we wished, however I feel it was a powerful recreation for us.”
Canada has a 4-3 report with three video games remaining, and desires to complete top-four to advance to the semi-finals.