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Chris Dornan, Media and Public Relations

December 17, 2013, CANMORE, Alta. (ISN) – Canada’s Mark Arendz got an early Christmas gift on Tuesday after winning the gold medal in para-biathlon at the IPC World Cup in Canmore, Alta.

Arendz, of Springton, P.E.I., backed up a silver-medal finish on Sunday’s middle distance race by blazing a golden trail on his home track at the Canmore Nordic Centre to clock a time of 43:11.2 in the men’s 15-kilometre standing race. Arendz missed just one shot in four rounds of shooting.

“It was a windy day so it made for some interesting shooting, but I’m very happy with it,” said Arendz. “It is nice to head into the break with a couple of medals.”

The 23-year-old Canuck originally thought he won silver for the second straight race, but he was elevated to the gold medal position on the podium after officials disqualified Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev for having his coach on the range providing instructions.

“That is a big no no in our sport but I was surprised when they announced me as the winner,” said Arendz. “It is a solid start to the season. I know I’m capable of winning, but I got a good wakeup call in the sprint race on the weekend. It is nice the results did come.”

Russia’s Aleksandr Pronkov was second at 45:14.5 (0+1+0+2). Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset grabbed the bronze with a time of 48:18.5 (1+0+2+1).

More than 110 athletes representing 12 countries competed in six International Paralympic Committee World Cup races in Canmore, Alberta over the last week for the first time ever in the history of the sport.

For more information and complete results, please visit the event web site at www.albertaworldcup.com.

Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 58,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas,. Canadian Pacific and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Own the Podium, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Cross Country Canada, please visit us at www.cccski.com