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Salmon Arm plans celebration to honour Paralympic medallist Natalie Wilkie

Natalie Wilkie skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. .
Natalie Wilkie skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. . Global News

She’s only 17, but Salmon Arm’s Natalie Wilkie is already making her hometown very proud.

The teen cross-country skier won three medals at the Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, a gold, silver and bronze.

The feat comes less than two years after she lost four fingers in an accident in shop class.

READ MORE: 16-year-old Canadian athlete qualifies for Paralympics 18 months after traumatic accident

“This is crazy awesome. I didn’t think this would happen at all. I’m only 17 and this is my first Paralympics,” Wilkie said, after winning her second medal.

It seems her hometown thinks it is pretty awesome too. The City of Salmon Arm is organizing a celebration for Wilkie on Friday.

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“We are so proud of this young lady,” Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper said.

“She is an inspiration really to all of us… she didn’t stop just because she lost her fingers — she just kept going.”

WATCH Below: Natalie Wilkie lost four fingers on her left hand in a school workshop accident. Now she’s competing in both able-bodied and Para Nordic skiing. Kevin Smith has more.
Inspiring 16-year-old Canadian athlete qualifies for Paralympics 18 months after traumatic accident
Inspiring 16-year-old Canadian athlete qualifies for Paralympics 18 months after traumatic accident

A parade of fire trucks will carry her around downtown Salmon Arm on Friday and residents are invited to come down to Ross Street, Alexander Street and Lakeshore Drive to cheer her on.

The parade will start at 11:30 a.m. on Friday morning.

The parade will be followed by a celebration at city hall at noon with light refreshments.

The public is invited to attend.

– with files from Kevin Smith

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