blind skier qualifies for Olympics

This is Brian McKeever, winner of seven medals at the Paralympics in Salt Lake City and Turin.

He’s just made Olympic history.

… The 30-year-old cross country skier from Canmore, Alta., who is legally blind, was one of six men and five women named to the Canadian Olympic team Friday, making him the first athlete to compete in both the Winter Games and the Paralympics.

He’ll also be the first Canadian – winter or summer – to do so in the same year.

McKeever, who will race in the 50-kilometre event, won the Canadian trials last month. …

Vancouver 2010 – Blind skier makes Olympics history

Do you think he should withdraw from the 2010 Paralympics, having now qualified for the Olympics?

Should he have to choose between the two? … Or be allowed to compete both?

14 comments ↓

#1 MostepanovaFan on 01.24.10 at 4:46 am

Thats amazing – I am too afraid to try skiing and I have great sight.
I do think he should withdraw from the Paralympics though, if you are good enough to qualify to the Olympics even with a disability its a bit harsh on those who couldn’t if you compete against them as well.

#2 shergymrag on 01.24.10 at 9:08 am

This guy has quite a story and something tells me he’s going to get some nice endorsements whether he wins anything at the Olympics or not.

#3 xmaestro on 01.24.10 at 9:32 am

Absolutely not. Withdrawing from the paralympics would give the message that it is somehow a lesser contest that he is too good for now that he is competing against able bodied folks. Paralympians are amazing athletes and I would challenge able bodied athletes to try competing with the same limitations that these people have. My guess is that they would see how hard their respective sports can be.
This is great news for the paralympic movement, and will hopefully help highlight what is at the core of both games. It is not about the differences that separate us, but the athletic achievement that unites us.

#4 coach Rick on 01.24.10 at 9:51 am

My first thought was, he should choose between one or the other.

But perhaps xmaestro is right.

This will be the biggest single story of the Paralympics. GREAT media exposure for those athletes.

And it’s going to happen very, very rarely that an athlete qualifies for both.

#5 Dana on 01.24.10 at 10:35 am

I agree with most of xmaestro’s comments, but still feel he should have to choose. Able bodied athletes wouldn’t be allowed to try out nor compete in the paralympics, so not sure how it is even possible for him to try and qualify for both. Sorry jmo, I think he should be required to choose.

#6 josh on 01.24.10 at 10:45 am

He has a huge disadvantage and still manages to compete in the regular Olympics. That’s huge. He is still unable to see anything, so he can IMO still compete with other blind folks at the Paralympics without this being unfair. They are just like him; he’s just better ;). Expelling him from the Paralympics would be like telling a very talented gymnast that she can’t compete here, because she’s “too talented”. Or to tell Usain Bolt that he can’t compete at Worlds, because he is “too fast”.

#7 Geoffrey Taucer on 01.24.10 at 11:07 am

Unrelated to anything, but does anybody else think he looks like Wolverine from the X-men trilogy?

(I forget the actor’s name)

#8 shergymrag on 01.24.10 at 2:56 pm

When Rick suggested withdrawing from the Paralympics, it didn’t occur to me that this skier dude should do that because they were less than the Olympics. I thought it would be to give another athlete a chance at the Olympic experience.

On one hand, I can see him doing both because they are separate competitions. On the other hand, I can see him only doing one for the reasons Dana said. Maybe he should have to choose. Either that or athletes who aren’t blind should be allowed to try for the Paralympics if they wear blindfolds. For all I know, that’s actually allowed. I wouldn’t know since I never watch the Paralympics. They don’t have gymnastics. I don’t watch the winter Olympics for the same reason.

#9 shergymrag on 01.24.10 at 2:57 pm

GT, I think that wolverine dude’s name is Hugh Jackman.

#10 coach Rick on 01.24.10 at 3:04 pm

Thanks sher.

I changed the wording on the original post to clarify my question.

#11 Tracy on 01.24.10 at 3:48 pm

I don’t think he should have to choose. He fulfills the requirements to be in the paralympics. He also fulfills the requirements to be in the olympics. Why choose? They’re two different events. His blindness doesn’t give him an unfair advantage at the olympics in any way and it’s expected at the paralympics. All the honours are his. He deserves both opportunities because he is an amazing athlete and has fairly earned his spot.

GO CANADA!!

#12 Henry on 01.24.10 at 4:34 pm

I have to agree as well. He should compete in both. He worked hard and earned his spot on the Olympic team and Paralympic teams. Two different competitions and if he can qualify for both CONGRATULATIONS to him.

#13 Anya on 01.25.10 at 2:30 am

I don’t think he should have to choose.

He qualified to both. He earned those spots. For both. The best qualified athlete deserves the place.

#14 blind skier dropped from Olympic Team — Gymnastics Coaching.com on 02.27.10 at 10:47 am

[…] Brian McKeever, the legally blind skier who qualified for the Canadian Men’s Olympic Cross Country Ski […]

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