Brian McKeever named Canada's flag-bearer for Paralympics opening ceremony

Thirteen-time Paralympic medallist Brian McKeever has been named Canada's flag-bearer for Friday's opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Cross-country skier owns 13 Winter Games medals, including bronze in biathlon, and is 1 away from record

Brian McKeever named Canada's flag-bearer for Paralympics opening ceremony

4 years ago
Duration 13:46
The thirteen-time Paralympic medallist will carry Canada's flag for Friday's opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Thirteen-time Paralympic medallist Brian McKeever has been named Canada's flag-bearer for Friday's opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"It's always an honour to represent Canada, and to do it at the Paralympics is why I have kept going with my career," the decorated athlete said.

McKeever will lead 54 other Canadian Paralympians — the country's largest-ever Winter Games contingent — into the stadium for the opening ceremony. The ceremony will be broadcast starting with a pre-show on CBC at 5:30 a.m. ET. The ceremony itself starts at 6 a.m. A prime-time broadcast will also air again on CBC at 8 p.m.

"It is a privilege to lead these great Canadians into the stadium and it is a responsibility I won't take lightly," McKeever said. 

"As athletes we live our lives in four-year chunks and I'm thrilled to be here. To be able to lead Canada into the opening ceremony is a wonderful thing."

Canada's flag-bearer Brian McKeever on a 'dream come true'

4 years ago
Duration 4:00
The 13-time Paralympic medallist spoke with CBC News' Heather Hiscox about being named Canada's flag-bearer for Friday's 2018 Paralympic Winter Games opening ceremony

McKeever owns 10 cross-country skiing gold medals — along with two silvers and a biathlon bronze — dating back to his Paralympic debut in Salt Lake City in 2002. The 38-year-old from Canmore, Alta., can surpass alpine skier Lana Spreeman as Canada's most decorated Winter Paralympian with a podium finish in Pyeongchang.

At the Sochi Games four years ago, McKeever earned three golds with guides Erik Carleton (two) and Graham Nishikawa (one). He now competes with Nishikawa, with the pair joining Mark Arendz and Emily Young to win a historic open relay bronze at the world championships last February.

"It's a big honour, it's a big deal," McKeever said of being named flag-bearer. "The timing was good, it's the end of my career, so it's all these things kind of coming together. So it is pretty exciting to have the opportunity."

Canadian Paralympic chef de mission: 'We want Canadians to know us'

4 years ago
Duration 4:32
Todd Nicholson hopes Canadians will get to know Canada's 55 Paralympic athletes, as the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games get underway on Friday

'We want all of Canada to know who he is'

The Games in Pyeongchang will be McKeever's fifth; he was the closing ceremony flag-bearer in 2002 and also qualified to compete at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, but the cross-country coaches opted to enter four other skiers in the men's 50-kilometre race.

"Brian is one of those athletes we want all of Canada to know who he is and what he has been able to accomplish as a Canadian Paralympian," said Todd Nicholson, Canada's chef de mission.

With files from The Canadian Press


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?