Mark Arendz back on P.E.I. with Paralympic medals
Paralympian returns with silver and bronze in biathlon
Prince Edward Islanders welcomed home biathlete Mark Arendz Tuesday evening, who brought two Paralympic medals in biathlon back from Sochi.
Dozens of people greeted Arendz at the airport, including an honour guard creating a tunnel of ski poles for him to make his entrance through. Family and friends have been waiting for this moment. Arendz has been travelling since winning bronze in the 12.5 km event and silver in the 7.5 km event at the Sochi games in mid-March.
"Everything was exciting, I couldn't take the smile off my face for the next two days," Arendz said about winning the first medal.
"I was able to relax once I got the bronze, kind of went through it all and I was just able to enjoy receiving the bronze a little more than I did with the silver."
Connie MacKinnon, president of Biathlon P.E.I. has watched Arendz grow up, seeing him get better and better at the sport after losing an arm in a farm accident at the age of seven.
"I don't even think that Mark thinks of it as a disability anymore," said MacKinnon.
"He is every bit as competent as an able-bodied athlete that's got both arms. So he hasn't let that hinder him in any respect."
"We train as hard as the guys at the Olympics," added Arendz, "if not harder sometimes just because we have to overcome those slight disabilities."
Arendz is just 24 years old and still has lots of skiing ahead of him. He has his eye on gold at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.