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2022 Canadian Male Paratriathlete of the Year

Stefan Daniel surged back to the top of Para racing with his fifth world title in 2022

Photo by: Photo: World Triathlon/ Wagner Araujo

After taking a gutsy bronze at the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2021, Stefan Daniel returned to the top of the Para triathlon ranks in 2022 – making it an easy choice to make the Calgary native our male Paratriathlete of the year.

After winning the silver medal at the 2016 Paralympics and four World Triathlon Championship Finals in the PTS5 category, Daniel rolled into the Paralympics in Tokyo as one of the pre-race favourites. He was still getting over an injury at that race, though, making his bronze-medal performance all the more impressive. Defending champion Martin Schulz from Germany took a second straight Paralympic gold in Tokyo, and the German beat Daniel again earlier this year in Besancon before the Canadian began a run of wins leading up to the Grand Finals in Abu Dhabi. Daniel won in A Corona, Montreal and Swansea, but Schulz wasn’t at any of those races.

Photo: World Triathlon/ Wagner Araujo

The German was in Abu Dhabi, though, for the Grand Final. The German was just nine seconds ahead of Daniel out of the water at the end of the 750 m swim, and the lead was down to six seconds at the end of the bike. Then Daniel used his impressive run talent to surge to the lead. (Daniel helped his university cross country team with the national championship a few years ago.) In the end Daniel took his fifth world title in style (58:24), 50 seconds ahead of Schulz.

“Pretty emotional crossing the line today,” Daniel posted on social media after his big win. “It’s been a year building back my love for the sport. To cap it off this way was unbelievable and something I did not expect.”

Photo: World Triathlon/ Janos Schmidt

Related: Canada earns gold and bronze medals at the World Triathlon Champs in Abu Dhabi

The ever-modest Daniel might not have expected such an impressive performance, but triathlon fans here in Canada are quite familiar with the 25-year-old’s talent. We named him our overall triathlete of the year in 2015 when he won the national junior triathlon championships, four seconds ahead of Charles Paquet.

Related: No excuses – Stefan Daniel’s journey to Paralympic fame

It was great to see him back at the top of his game in 2022 – we’ll look forward to lots more exciting racing from Daniel through 2023 and 2024.

Thanks to Barrie Shepley, Kyla Rollinson, Pierre-Yves Gigou, Lance Watson and Carolyn Murray for their input on our Triathlete of the Year awards.