Mark took a liking to sports at a very young age. Growing up, he competed in soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country, athletics and road cycling. Most recently, he added the thrill of mountain biking, however, the top priority for Mark is Biathlon and Cross Country skiing.
He began skiing in the backyard when he was about five years old. Though after watching the Olympics in 2002 from Salt Lake City, Biathlon became his passion. He began his competitive career in 2003, earning a spot on the National Para-Nordic Ski Team in 2006. It all snowballed from there.
Mark has competed in both the 2010 and 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. At the 2013 World Championships, he became World Champion in the Short Biathlon and podiumed in the other two Biathlon races. One year later, in Sochi, he earned a Silver and Bronze medal in the Short and Middle Distance Biathlon races respectively. At the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea Arendz won a Canadian single Games record 6 medals, 5 individual and a team relay medal, including biathlon gold, silver and bronze and his first cross-country medals, and was honoured as Canada’s flag-bearer for the Games closing ceremony.
At the age of seven, Mark was involved in a farm accident, which resulted in the amputation of his left arm above the elbow. While this accident was a life altering experience, it did not affect his love of sport or deter him from any future aspirations. His dream had always been to make it to the Olympics. The accident did not change that, it only changed it from Olympics to Paralympics.
Mark not only believes in the power that sport can provide to all children, but also the power of giving back to sport and the community. He believes volunteers are a basic element for any sport. That is why he tries to give back as much as he can, whether it be coaching, refereeing or helping out at any local sporting event.
“The power of sport is not only for a moment, but lasts a lifetime!” – Mark Arendz