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Mark Arendz: Bow Valley’s Beijing Bound Athletes

Mark Arendz, Para nordic snowboarding, eight-time Paraympics medallist

The heavy hitter of PyeongChang is again for extra.

Mark Arendz, the file holder for many medals gained at a single Winter Paralympics with six (gold, two silver, three bronze), has circled Beijing on the calendar for a very long time.

A aggressive man by nature, being one in every of world’s greatest athletes has outlined the prince of Prince Edward Island for a decade.

“My objectives are each time I come to the beginning line I’m the most effective ready I might be,” stated Arendz. “After I cross the end line, figuring out I’ve finished all the things I can and there’s nothing left on the market. … I deal my hand on the desk and see if anybody can beat that.”

Not a lot has slowed down the soon-to-be 32-year-old champion. On the 2019 world championships, he gained one other six medals (three silver, three bronze) in cross-country and biathlon. Through the pandemic, Arendz took final season off competitors, however he actually wasn’t sitting on the sofa with a bag of potato chips.

A giant driver behind Arendz’s constant grind was being 0.7 seconds away from gold in Sochi 2014.

As proficient on skis as he’s with a rifle, the Para nordic skier is a go-getter in coaching. In actual fact, Arendz is perhaps one of many few athletes who loves the method greater than present time.

He’s the kind of athlete, who, even when useless drained, is aware of that final interval will get you 0.7 sooner.

That killer intuition is a large cause why the 15-year veteran has spent practically half his life on the nationwide staff in Canmore and is days away from Video games No. 4.

“Sport has been all the things for me,” stated Arendz. “After I first misplaced my arm on the age of seven it was sort of this remedy. Sport allowed me to point out my capability nonetheless quite than my incapacity, so specializing in monitor and discipline, cross-country working and simply a wide range of totally different sports activities. It was a enjoyable problem of studying learn how to adapt to totally different sports activities, but in addition simply excel in a few of them as nicely.”

The farm accident is imprinted in Arendz’s thoughts. Almost 1 / 4 century later, he vividly particulars what went improper on that summer season day in 1997.

Simply a median seven-year-old child from Hartsville, P.E.I., Arendz was serving to dad on the farm. Within the yard that day, a truck was unloading grain onto an auger, a big rotating screw-like machine that conveys the product right into a bin or silo.

Some grain wasn’t fairly flowing correctly close to the turning auger, Arendz noticed, so he went to present it a push. When he did that, he misplaced his steadiness and shot each arms out to avoid wasting his fall.

“My proper hand landed on the piping of the auger and my left landed on the shields, however they’re meant to cease an grownup hand or foot and that’s when it simply flipped and went all the way in which as much as my shoulder nearly immediately,” stated Arendz.

“They tried to drag me out … I used to be simply too entangled,” Arendz continued. “They needed to truly reverse the auger till I acquired untangled. Dad wasn’t going to attend for the ambulance so he drove me proper to the Charlottetown hospital. I bear in mind all the things. I even bear in mind studying the crimson emergency above the doorway earlier than lastly passing out later that evening.”

He was airlifted to a RisePEI hospital the place medical doctors did all they might, however had been pressured to amputate above his left elbow. Dropping three and a half to 4 litres of blood, the medical doctors advised Arendz the one factor that saved his life was that he didn’t go into shock, which might have began a cycle that will have killed him.

Inside a number of months, the tall, lively child was again at it.

“I used to be sort of like that is what children accomplish that I’m going to do it regardless after which that by no means actually held me again,” stated Arendz. 

“There have been challenges to determine all of it out, however I used to be simply going to be a child and play.”

As a younger athlete, Arendz discovered biathlon first after which cross-country – the backwards manner.

Arendz and brother Menno noticed biathlon at Salt Lake Metropolis 2002 and thought it was cool. A number of years later, they discovered a neighborhood membership and that that’s when Arendz fell in love with the game and led to the place he’s at the moment.

“For me the aim has not modified,” stated Arendz. 

“I went to PyeongChang targeted on the efficiency and I feel Beijing can be very a lot concerning the efficiency too.”

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