Cross Country Skiing — TARGETING Milan 2026 Paralympics
Seven-time Paralympic Medalist (3 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze)
2022 Paralympic Gold Medalist – 15 kilometres
2022 Paralympic Silver Medalist – 10 kilometres
2022 Paralympic Bronze Medalist – Mixed Relay
2019 World Championship Silver Medalist – Mixed Relay
2018 Paralympic Games Medalist – Gold, Silver, Bronze
2018 Paralympic Games, Team Canada’s Youngest Athlete
Social Followers: Instagram, 2,000
Hometown: Salmon Arm, BC
Natalie Wilkie's life has become a parallel path.
As an athlete and animal-lover she's learned to balance the demands of sport with the beauty of her horses.
In the summer before middle school, her family took in several rescue horses and planned to train them. She studied the professional trainer for hours each day, fascinated by the way she gently interacted with the horses to build their trust.
Natalie soon began working with a yearling and when the horse grew strong enough for her first ride, they were in it together.
Earning the trust of a neglected rescue horse gave Natalie the peace and energy that would ultimately prepare her for what was to come.
Less than a year later, Natalie lost four fingers on her left hand in a school workshop accident.
She battled feelings of shame and considerable challenges with self-acceptance.
As an athletic, musical and artistic teenager, her family wondered how the accident would change her life.
She didn't let it stop her from pursuing anything.
Already an accomplished cross country skier, she entered Canadian Nationals for able-bodied athletes and used an extra wrap to secure her left hand to the pole.
She finished third.
Natalie was then named to Team Canada as its youngest member and, at just 17, she had reasonable expectations going into her first Paralympics in Pyeongchang 2018.
Those expectations didn't last long.
In her remarkable debut, Natalie won three medals – gold, silver, bronze.
Four years later in Beijing 2022, her encore performance added two more gold, one silver and another bronze to her impressive collection of Paralympic podiums.
In sport, very few young athletes find the balance between competitive drive and the patience needed to walk a parallel path.
Natalie has been on hers since she was 16.
And she'll take it all the way to Milan 2026.