Chris Klebl

Im­pres­sive Ca­reer In­cludes Par­a­lympic Gold and Sil­ver

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Ron John­son

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.