December 9 - Russia's Nordic skiers shaped up perfectly for next year's home Paralympics in Sochi with three out of five titles on the opening day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup in Canmore.
Grigory Murygin, who at 18 made his international debut just two years ago, stormed to the first gold in the sitting 10 kilometre event at the Canmore Nordic Centre, built for the 1988 Calgary Olympics, in 30min 46.9se to finish ahead of teammates Aliaksandr Davidovich and Irek Zaripov..
Reigning world champion Roman Petushkov could only manage a seventh place finish, whilst Murygin's biggest rival, Japan's Kozo Kubo, finished sixth.
Under beautiful blue skies and on a challenging course, Russia's second title came courtesy of Alena Kaufman when she saw off Japan's Shoko Ota to win the women's middle distance standing class.
The third gold, and second Russian clean sweep, came in the men's middle distance standing, when Sergey Lapkin out-sprinted compatriot Rushan Minnegulov for gold, while Vladimir Kononov finished 19 seconds in arrears to take bronze.
There was not complete dominance for next years Paralympic hosts however and Canada's Brian McKeever pulled off a home victory in the 10km standing class.
The 34-year old won despite having to ski without injured guide Erik Carleton and reflected afterwards that it was a "good, hard, fun course".
"We don't often get to ski the biathlon trails and they are very different from the cross country trails," he added.
"It's certainly not as fast, but it is way more important that Erik stays healthy for the rest of the season."
Russia took both minor medals courtesy of Stanislav Chokhlaev and Nikolay Polukhin
The other title was won by Norway's Mariann Marthinsen in the 5km middle distance sitting class, when she finished ahead of Russia's Marta Zaynullina and American Oksana Masters.
US wheelchair athletics star Tatyana McFadden began her Winter campaign just weeks after completing her clean sweep of marathon majors in 2013 by finishing 11th.
Cross country events at the 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup are due to continue Thursday (December 12) while biathlon events will get underway on Saturday (December 14).
October 2013: IPC reveals reigning world champions as Ones to Watch in Nordic skiing with Sochi 2014 looming large
March 2013: Russia continue to dominate the field as IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships close
March 2013: Russia claims relay golds at IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships