Impressive Career Includes Paralympic Gold and Silver
Paralympic medal-winning Canadian cross-country sit-skier Chris Klebl announced his retirement in March following a silver-medal performance at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This followed a dozen years of international competition for Klebl, who represented both the U.S. and Canada during his stellar career.
Klebl was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1972, and grew up skiing and snowboarding in Austria before moving to the United States in 1987. Following spinal-cord injuries that resulted from a snowboarding accident in Colorado, Klebl worked as a massage therapist in Hawaii and in the software industry in California before being introduced to sit-skiing by American Para-skier Monica Bascio and beginning competing in 2005.
He competed for the U.S. and did quite well in top competitions, including a dozen World Cup podiums, 11 National titles and appeared in two Paralympic Games.
In 2011, Klebl began to compete for Canada, and his move north of the border to Canmore, Alta. seemed to pay off in immediate benefits.
At the IPC Biathlon and Cross-country Skiing World Championships in Khanty-mansiysk, Russia, he took home a gold medal in the 15km race, as well as a silver medal in the sprint.
And, in 2014, Klebl, 42 at the time, lined up for the Maple Leaf squad at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia and shocked the world as he won his first Paralympic medal, a gold one at that, in the 10km event.
“The Paralympics are once every four years, and this is my third,” Klebl told media outlet CBC at the time. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years. It was the last opportunity for the next four years. I’m pretty excited.”
Fast-forward those four years, and this past spring in Pyeongchang, Klebl was part of a Canadian Nordic team that set a national record, winning an incredible 16 medals that included a silver slung around Klebl’s neck for his efforts in the 4-by-2.5km Mixed-relay event, capping off an impressive career.
Chris Klebl enjoyed a stellar career in both the U.S.A. and Canada with multiple World Cup podiums and Paralympic medals as well.