The official announcement will not likely come until late January or early February, but three-time Paralympic medal winner (three bronze medals at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang) Collin Cameron is doing everything in his power to ensure that a return to that stage is in store for the 33 year old Sudbury resident.
After an absence of almost two years from the competitive circuit, Cameron came back with a bang these past two weekends in Canmore (Alberta), finishing as the top Canadian in all six races in which he participated, capturing gold in the 1.0 km sprint and silver in the 10km biathlon at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup event.
Cameron edged Russian Ivan Golubkov by half a second to finish first in the sprint, with the pair more than four seconds up on Italian Giuseppe Romele. The sprint is the marquee distance for the sit-skier who trains locally with Patti Kitler, most often at Kivi Park.
On the final day of competition, he would find himself behind only Danila Britik of Russia (33:54 vs 34:13), sporting an unblemished 20/20 shooting mark for the first time ever as he placed second in the 10 km biathlon, just under a minute ahead of Golubkov.
The trio who mounted the podium in the sprint would scramble the order for the 10 km race, with Romele (25:11) followed by Golubkov (25:43) and Cameron (26:02), with the latter adding a fourth place finish in the 6.0 km biathlon, fifth in the 5.0 km para nordic race and eighth in the 12.5 km biathlon.
While there were many reasons for Cameron to celebrate his two-weekend performance, the simple joy of racing likely topped the list, for both the very determined paralympian as well as the overwhelming majority of his competitors.
"It certainly was a real great feeling to get back to World Cup racing, and there's no better place than here in Canmore," said Cameron, who has moved out west to focus on his training this winter.
"It's always special to welcome the world here and have the home crowd at your back."
If Cameron was excited with his own results, the overall Team Canada achievements may have meant even more to the young man who accomodates each and every media request with a smile.
"As a team, we had our best ever combined results with a total of 17 medals across both cross-country and biathlon events," he noted. "I'm incredibly proud to be part of this really special group of athletes, coaches and support staff."
"Just knowing I was able to contribute to our amazing week here is part of the reason I find so much joy in this sport and being part of this program."
His victory in the sprint race marks the second time that Cameron has captured World Cup gold on Canadian soil, having turned the trick at the 2019 World Championships in Prince George. Furthermore, his remaining two medal performances - silver in 10 km biathlon; bronze in 10 km cross-country - marked breakthroughs in longer distances for Cameron.
"So, plenty of positive things for me to take away from this event, but also still lots to work on with lofty goals in mind for the next three months," he added. "I'm using this as a stepping stone for the World Championships next month in Lillehammer, and then building into March with the Paralympics in Beijing."
"It's all about keeping this momentum and doing my best to stay fit and healthy so that I can feel confident that I can do my absolute best, no matter the result, come March at the Paralympics."