CANMORE, ALTA. – Mark Arendz has silver and bronze medals from the Paralympics, but he’s not thinking about completing the set in March in PyeongChang, Korea.
“The goal is to have three perfectly executed biathlon races,” the Hartsville native said Wednesday. “Learning from Vancouver initially, and then what worked in Sochi, was focusing on the process for me. Not necessarily worrying about the results, but just making sure that once I cross the finish line I know that there was nothing else I could have done to make it better.”
He said worrying about results adds stress and pressure while hindering an athlete’s ability to perform.
The PyeongChang Games are 90 days away, running March 9-18.
Arendz, who turns 28 on March 3, has attended two Paralympic Games (2010 in Vancouver and 2014 in Sochi, Russia).
This year’s focus is to be at his best when the races begin in March.
He is coming off a season that saw him win twice at the Para-Nordic World Championships in Germany and pick up a second and two thirds.
It has him destined to be a big part of the national team in Korea, but the team will not be officially announced until later this winter.
Arendz said he is pleased with how his off-season went and is looking forward to the first World Cup events of the season this week in Canmore, Alta. He is expecting to compete in five of the six events, including three biathlon races and two cross-country events.
Arendz lost his left arm above the elbow in a farming accident when he was seven years old. He moved to Alberta in the summer of 2008 and settled in Canmore in 2009.
“The facilities here are second to none globally for what I do,” he said. “Anything and everything I would want in order for training is here. The coaches are here, the facilities, the testing.”
And while he loves being home in P.E.I., he said, it’s important for him to be where he can train all the time. The Canmore Nordic Centre stored snow from last year and brought it out in mid-October in order to create a 2.5-kilometre loop for the athletes to train on. Meanwhile in Prince Edward Island, there has been little snow to speak of.
“P.E.I. is beautiful when the winter does actually come, but it’s a little unreliable,” he said.
His parents will be visiting him for the World Cup and staying for Christmas. Arendz said he would be making a trip home to P.E.I. after the Paralympics in March.
Need to know
Who – A Hartsville, P.E.I., native and Para-Nordic team member. He competes in biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Notable international results
2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 12.5 km biathlon – First
2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 7.5 km biathlon – First
2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 15 km biathlon – Second
2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 10 km cross country – Third
2017 Para-Nordic World Championships – 4x2.5 km cross country relay – Third
2014 Paralympic Winter Games – 7.5 km biathlon – Second
2014 Paralympic Winter Games – 12.5 km biathlon – Third
2013 Para-Nordic World Championships – 7.5 km biathlon – First
2013 Para-Nordic World Championships – 12.5 km biathlon – Third
2013 Para-Nordic World Championships – 15 km biathlon – Third
2010 Paralympic Winter Games – 3 km pursuit biathlon – Seventh
2010 Paralympic Winter Games - 4x2.5 km cross country relay – Seventh
Source – http://paralympic.ca/mark-arendz.
Arednz: “I know if I follow what I am trying to do with the process, with the training, I know I can have success at the Games. In order to get that success, though, it’s about focusing on the process and believing in what we’ve done the last few years.”