Nova Scotian teams up with father to win para-alpine skiing silver
Brenda MacDonald becomes first female athlete from N.S. to win medal at 2019 Canada Winter Games
Brenda MacDonald of Granville Ferry, N.S., has become the first female athlete to win a medal for Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.
The 20-year-old picked up a silver medal Tuesday in the alpine skiing giant slalom para-female event.
"It feels pretty amazing and unbelievable at the same time," said MacDonald, minutes after she completed her two runs at the Nakiska Ski Resort in Kananaskis.
"All of the training I've done through the year has worked, there's been a lot of little things I've worked on."
MacDonald has neurofibromatosis, resulting in small tumours that have left her blind in her left eye and with limited vision in her right.
Para-alpine skiers use guides to lead them down the hill through the slalom course. MacDonald's guide on Tuesday was her father, Stephen.
"It just felt amazing to have my dad guide me," she said. "It was so nice to have someone who is family and knows how to take me through stressful situations."
Brenda MacDonald was named the 2015/16 Female Alpine Skier of the Year at the Sport Nova Scotia Sports Awards. Her goal is to compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Winning a medal at the Canada Games is a step in the right direction.
"She's a powerhouse and I can't believe I had this opportunity to share in this wonderful medal with my daughter at the Canada Games," said Stephen MacDonald.
"A little bit of stress leading your daughter down the hill and making sure she gets down safely and cleanly, but it really was a great day."
Brenda MacDonald lists Canadian para-Nordic skier Brian McKeever as her idol.
McKeever is a Canadian cross-country skier and biathlete who became Canada's most decorated Winter Paralympian when he won his 14th medal at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The Canada Winter Games continue this week, with closing ceremonies on Saturday. Other Nova Scotians to win medals in Red Deer are boxers Alex Bulgaru (silver) and Matthew Ross (bronze), and the male gymnastics artistic team, which won bronze.