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SOCHI, Russia -- Mark Arendz recorded a first for Canada on the opening day of compet
SOCHI, Russia -- Mark Arendz recorded a first for Canada on the opening day of competition at the Paralympic Winter Games. The 24-year-old from Hartsville, P.E.I., won a silver medal Saturday in the biathlon, the first Canadian ever to do so in the event. Arendz finished just .07 seconds behind gold medallist Vladislav Lekomtcev of Russia, who posted a winning time of 19 minutes 3.7 seconds. Russian Azat Karachurin finished third in 19:14.9. Arendzs coach, Robin McKeever, guided his brother and 10-time Paralympic medallist, Brian, to Canadas only other Paralympic medal in biathlon. They captured a bronze medal in the visually impaired 7.5-kilometre sprint discipline at the 2006 Paralympics in Turin, Italy. "It feels absolutely great and a big relief to get on the podium right away," said a beaming Arendz. "I fought as hard as I could, and it was such a close race at the end." It was one of three medals for Canada on the day. Josh Dueck of Kimberley B.C., also earned a silver medal in the mens downhill sit-ski. Mac Marcoux of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and guide Robin Femy of Mont-Tremblant, Que., claimed a bronze in the mens visually-impaired downhill. Dueck won his medal on the 10th anniversary of the freestyle skiing accident that landed him in a wheelchair. It was his second Paralympic medal after claiming a silver in slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games. "This is fantastic," Dueck said. "Im really about performance, and I took a fast line down the hill and took some chances and I got pretty lucky. "I crossed the line and was thrilled. Second is awesome." Kurt Oatway, of Calgary and Caleb Brousseau, of Terrace, B.C., were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the sit-ski category. Also, the Canadian sledge hockey team opened with a convincing 10-1 win over Sweden. Anthony Gale of Brampton, Ont., and Adam Dixon of Midland, Ont., led the way with two goals and two assists apiece. The Canadian team returns to action Sunday facing Norway. Four years ago, the Norwegians nipped Canada to win the bronze medal in Vancouver. And in wheelchair curling, Canada, the defending world champion, earned wins of 6-3 over Great Britain and 5-4 versus host Russia. The Canadians take on Sweden on Sunday. Arendz was fourth midway through the race but shot clean in his second stop at the range to begin his successful charge to a podium finish. "The plan was to shoot clean and I was focused on following that, but I missed that one target just slightly," said Arendz. "I thought I had it but a twitch of the finger and I just missed it. "I wasnt far off. I told myself to fight hard on that penalty loop to get over the penalty and finish strong." The course was slushy because of the warm weather, which created challenges for Arendz. "It is so warm and not really winter-like conditions so the course was really slowing down out there," he said. "The guys in the wax room did a great job on the skis. "I will celebrate this one with them." Russias Alena Kaufman shot clean en route to winning the womens standing class race. Caroline Bisson of Ottawa finished 14th. Margarita Gorbounova, also of Ottawa, and her guide, Andrea Bundon of Regina, were seventh in the six-kilometre womens visually impaired race. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys . A lovely summer day in England with abundant sunshine and minimal wind allowed him to attack Royal Liverpool. Cheap Maple Leafs Jerseys China . Basketball fans around the globe will be watching as Kobe Bryant makes his season debut - 240 days after tearing his left Achilles - against Toronto, a team he has used as his own personal punching bag. For one, he still gets to crank the intensity to the max. "I push pretty angry. I ran pretty angry too though, but I have fun doing it," Lumsden said. Wholesale Maple Leafs Jerseys . -- Theres nothing like winning to bring hope for a struggling team. Cheap Adidas Maple Leafs Jerseys . -- Oakland Athletics starting pitchers Jarrod Parker and A.RICHMOND, B.C. - Canadian athletes seeking Olympic and Paralympic gold in 2016 are looking forward to training in better conditions after a $3-million funding boost announced Wednesday.The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Foundation are investing the money, along with an additional unspecified amount of funds from the Canadian Paralympic Committee, in the newly branded Canadian Sport Institute Network. The investment is intended to provide cutting-edge equipment, hire staff and enhance daily training for multi-sport athletes. The deal includes seven local, provincial and regional high-performance sport institutes whose facilities are being brought under one umbrella within the network.It has taken a minimum of three years and a lot of work to get here, but we never gave up, said COC chairman Marcel Aubut during a news conference at the Richmond Olympic Oval. We were so convinced that it was the right thing to do.The COC and Olympic foundation will provide $3 million in direct funding to the national institute network for the period covering 2014 to 2016 to enable it to provide world-class facilities to athletes. In addition to helping current and aspiring Olympians and Paralympians, the funding and newly named network aim to assist Canadians competing in the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games in Toronto.Aubut expects more funding to be provided in the future to the institute network, which includes facilities in Montreal, Calgary, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada and the Pacific region. He said the rebranding as a network will create a larger team and family-like atmosphere for athletes, enabling them to see that they can all work together to bring Canada more Olympic and Paralympic medals.This is (about) Olympics, this is excellent, this is the top of the world, said Aubut in an interview. This is (about) building the athletes to beat the best in the world.Athletes said the funding and new network will make their training more comfortable at home and away because they can access more equipment and institute facilities across the country.During and after the news conference, athletes offered compelling stories onn difficulties that they have endured while training.ddddddddddddJosh Vander Vies, who won a 2012 Paralympic bronze medal in doubles boccia said he wont have to worry about finding a gym or having to using his limited budget on other training needs.Definitely, this will change my world, because leading up to London, I did most of my training out of my carport, said weightlifter Christine Girard, a two-time Olympian who won bronze in 2012, adding she will benefit from more access to resources and the worlds best athletes.John Moonlight of the Canadian Sevens mens rugby team said the funding will help his Victoria-area-based team benefit from a nutrionist and sport psychologist as it attempts to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He will also be able to use facilities in Ontario when he is at home in Pickering.(The network) sets a standard and a goal that people look at, said Moonlight. Growing up as a young kid, you always dream of just making the Olympics. Now, you have this centre being referred to as an Olympic training centre. It gives you that extra goal. You actually want to be able to work to train in that high-performance area.Retired Olympic rower Darcy Marquardt, a three-time Olympian who won silver in London, said the funding and institute network will benefit athletes who are married and trying to train together at the same time. Marquardt said she and her husband, retired Olympic swimmer Richard Hortness, who are expecting their first child later this month, gained from the institutes advice on how to prepare each other psychologically for London.Limited resources are everywhere, but when you have two athletes living together, in a lot of cases, its low-low income family, said Hortness, adding the funding and facility access will make it much easier for athletes to live and survive.Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO Karen ONeill said the leadership and partnerships behind the funding and institute network are helping Canada become a world leader in both Olympic and Paralympic sport.Today, were all united in the work of continuing to build a powerful and connected sport system - from playground to podium, said ONeill. 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