Did you know that Para-Nordic athletes participate in the Birkie?

Over the years the Birkie has hosted a number of Para-Nordic participants and athletes in our event, about 2-6 people/year.  So if you need inspiration to keep going, keep your eyes open for them!

Brian McKeever 
55 km Birkie Lite 2013 Winner, Olympian,
Paralympian and Canadian Champion
 McKeever double poles entire Birkebeiner for remarkable win - Rocky Mountain Outlook Feb 14, 2014

Para-Nordic skiing is the sport of cross-country skiing and biathlon for participants and athletes with a physical/intellectual impairment as defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). 
The IPC defines all Para-sport as being for those with a primary impairment that belongs to one of  10 ‘eligible’ impairment types. Generally this means a physical impairment but athletes with an intellectual disability (ID) are now recognized by the IPC and some Para-sports have begun to integrate ID athletes into competition.

"Para" comes from the Greek meaning ("beside" or "alongside"). The current use of the term stems from the Paralympics which refers to being the "parallel" Games to the Olympics. The word Paralympic may have originally been a combination of 'paraplegic' and 'Olympic', however with the inclusion of many different disability groups and the close association with the Olympic Movement, it now means a parallel Olympics to illustrate how the two movements exist side by side. The IPC does not formally use the term "Para-Nordic". Canada has adopted the term which means "parallel" Nordic sport to indicate how it exists side by side with able-bodied Nordic sport

Cross Country Canada (CCC) supports and promotes Para-Nordic skiing at all levels. See CCC's programs with Para-Nordic.

For more detailed information about Para-Nordic skiing please go to the IPC Nordic skiing website.

Other links:

  • The American Birkie includes Adaptive Ski Events as part of its three-day festival.     
  • A St. Albert man became one of the first quadriplegic athlete’s in Birkebeiner history. Read his story in the St. Albert Gazette February 2011