The son of two Olympic cross-country skiiers and the nephew of Canada’s most adorned winter Paralympian is constant the household legacy.
At first, Robin McKeever did all the things he may to forestall his son Xavier McKeever from following in his ski tracks.
“I did all the things potential to place Xav in any sport, however cross-country snowboarding,” McKeever admitted. “I needed him to have the ability to select this sport, if it was his alternative, versus being compelled into it as a result of it was simply the life that he was born into.”
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Xavier did fairly properly in each sport he tried as summers have been full of soccer and mountain biking, whereas winters have been jam filled with alpine snowboarding, hockey and speedskating.
However there was simply no separating him from his cross-country planks.
“It was hectic,” the 18-year-old recalled. “I simply liked being on my skis and the sensation of simply gliding round on snow.
“After I was youthful it was largely about having enjoyable and being exterior, and now it’s centered as a result of it’s my life and my job in a means.”
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McKeever is a reputation synonymous with the game in his hometown of Canmore.
His dad and mom are Olympic cross-country skiers Robin McKeever and Milaine Thériault and his uncle is Paralympian Brian McKeever.
“He’s received a number of the relaxed character that I had, and his mother’s drive,” Robin stated. “She was an organized and devoted athlete in no matter she does. He has a little bit of that in order that steadiness, so he’ll prepare extraordinarily laborious, and nonetheless be relaxed sufficient round races that he doesn’t let the strain get to him.”
As a child, Xavier didn’t fairly grasp his household’s Nordic achievements till he watched Robin and Brian seize three gold medals on the Vancouver 2010 video games.
Now Xavier is attempting to carve his personal legacy on the slopes.
“Personally, I really feel no strain from that legacy. I’m simply right here to create my very own path and reside my very own profession, so I simply deal with that largely.
“It’s all the time good to have dad and mom who’ve a lot expertise within the sport as a result of they can provide me a wealth of information on various things.”
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Xavier is now one in every of North America’s most promising younger stars.
Together with fellow Albertan Tom Stephen, British Columbia’s Remi Drolet and Quebec’s Olivier Léveillé , he helped Canada win its first-ever relay medal — a silver, no much less — on the World Junior Championship in 2020.
“When it occurred, it didn’t even really feel actual,” Xavier recalled. “I used to be like, ‘Somebody pinch me proper now, that is insane.’ However I feel a very powerful half about that second is it confirmed that we’re in a position to compete on the highest degree in cross.”
Then, in a full-circle second, Xavier captured a hat trick of golds of his personal on the Gaellivare Ski Competition in Sweden over the weekend.
His uncle was available to assist him put together for every of his races.
“It is a technology that’s sooner than any of us ever have been at that age,” Brian McKeever, who can be making ready for his closing Paralympic video games, stated.
“I’ll by no means be as quick as these juniors ever once more — and that’s cool! That’s probably the most thrilling factor, these children are all sooner than me they usually have a complete profession and life forward of them.”
As a result of he’s nonetheless a junior, Xavier doesn’t plan on being a part of Canada’s Beijing Olympic crew — however he’ll compete within the Olympic trials in Canmore later this winter.
McKeever has set his sights on the 2026 video games and in the end, an Olympic medal of his personal.
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