According to CBC News on Thursday, cross country skier Graham Nishikawa was honoured by the city of Whitehorse. Nishikawa, who was one of Brian McKeever's guides at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, was given a key to the city.
Nishikawa, who is 30 years old and a Whitehorse native, assisted McKeever in the men's one kilometre cross country skiing competition for the visually impaired, an event that saw McKeever post a result of 3:59.6. McKeever started 32 seconds back of Sweden's Zebastien Modin because Modin suffers from a higher degree of blindness.
McKeever also fell in the early stages in the race, but got right back up and by using Nishikawa as his guide, skied past the other three skiers in the final to easily win the race. McKeever has won ten Paralympic Winter gold medals in the past, but his victory in the 1km in Sochi should be considered as his most memorable.
Graham Nishikawa who skis out of the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club, won the Canadian national championship in the men's 1.7 kilometre freestyle competition in Corner Brook, Newfoundland on March 20, according to the FIS website. He also won two more medals at the National Championship-- the silver medal in the men's 15 kilometre freestyle on March 18 and the bronze medal in the men's 50 kilometre classical mass start on March 22.
Graham Nishikawa's sister Emily was also given a key to the city of Whitehorse. Emily Nishikawa, also of Whitehorse, finished 14th in the women's 4x5 kilometre cross country skiing relay with Perianne Jones of Almonte, Ontario, Daria Gaiazova of Canmore, Alberta and Brittany Webster of Toronto, Ontario at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Emily Nishikawa is only 24 years of age and has a bright future in women's cross country skiing. It would not be surprising if she decides to continue to compete through the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.