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Marcoux takes GS gold at Paralympics for third medal

The Canadian Press

3/15/2014 7:46:36 PM

SOCHI, Russia -- Age is just a number for Canadian Paralympian Mac Marcoux.

The 16-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and guide Robin Femy from Mont Tremblant, Que., captured gold in men's giant slalom at the Sochi Paralympics on Saturday, adding to the two bronze medals he claimed earlier in the Games.

Marcoux -- the youngest member of Canada's Paralympic team -- led from start to finish in the men's visually impaired category, dominating in their first of two runs and easily maintaining their lead in the second run.

"It's so awesome. It's still setting in. I've never been so excited after a race," said Marcoux, who won with a two-run combined time of two minutes, 29.62 seconds. "When we crossed the finish line and Rob told me we won, my heart stopped for a second. I crashed into him and just couldn't speak.

"All of what has happened at Sochi has exceeded my expectations. I never thought I would win a medal, let alone three."

Marcoux and Femy only began skiing together two weeks ago when Marcoux's regular guide and older brother, BJ Marcoux, injured his back. Marcoux and Femy put any doubts of their fledgling partnership to rest early in the Games by winning bronze in downhill and super-G -- even winning their super-G medal with a broken radio headset and no communication.

Immediately following Saturday's giant slalom, BJ, who has been by his brother's side all week, ran to Marcoux and the two embraced in a teary hug.

"That was a pretty emotional hug. We both broke down a little bit," Marcoux said. "We've been through everything together since we first started skiing together eight years ago and he has been the most supportive person. This is as much his medal as it is mine."

As youngster Marcoux wraps up his first Paralympics with three medals, veteran Chris Williamson, from Toronto, skied in his final Paralympic race on Saturday. Williamson, who won bronze in the men's slalom on Thursday, said he feels like he is passing the torch to Marcoux.

"I have a huge mix of emotions here at my last Paralympics, but I'm so pleased to have a medal and it's pretty clear that visually impaired skiing in Canada is in good hands with Mac!" said Williamson, who finished fifth (2:37.57).

Jakub Krako of Slovakia (2:31.66) won the silver medal in the men's visually impaired category, and Russia's Valerii Redkozubov earned bronze (2:33.57).

Canada's men's sit-skiers didn't fare well in the giant slalom, with Josh Dueck, of Kimberley, B.C., Caleb Brousseau, from Terrace, B.C., and Calgary's Kurt Oatway all not finishing their first runs. Standing skier Kirk Schornstein, of Spruce Grove, Alta. finished 13th (2:40.97).

Also at the Paralympics, Canada's national sledge hockey team won bronze, defeating Norway 3-0 in Saturday's bronze medal game at Shayba Arena.

The medal is Canada's fourth all-time at the Paralympics; it won gold in 2006 in Torino, Italy, silver in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, and bronze in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway, in addition to this year's third-place finish.

Billy Bridges of Summerside, P.E.I., scored twice to lead the Canadian offence, while Brad Bowden of Orton, Ont., added the other goal as Canada found the back of the net three times in 6:12 early in the second period to break open a scoreless game.

Bowden finished with a goal and two assists, and Corbin Watson of Kingsville, Ont., made 10 saves for his third shutout in four games.

Canada defeated China 5-4 in the semifinals and then went on to defeat Russia 8-3 in the final match to win the gold medal.

In the 4x2.5-kilometre mixed para-Nordic skiing relay, Quebec City's Sebastien Fortier, Robbi Weldon of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Ottawa's Margarita Gorbounova did not finish. In the 4x2.5-kilometre open relay, Chris Klebl of Canmore, Alta., along with Brian McKeever, also from Canmore, and his guides of Erik Carleton, from Canmore, and Whitehorse's Graham Nishikawa placed fourth in the open 4x2.5-kilometre relay with a time of 25:51.9.

McKeever and company will look to win their third gold medal of the week on Sunday when they hit the start line for the final Nordic race of the 2014 Games.