From left: Black Jack skiers Molly Miller, Remi and Jasmine Drolet are competing in the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, and Remi captured Team BC’s first cross-country gold medal on Monday.

Black Jack cross-country skier captures gold at Canada Winter Games

Black Jack Ski Club veteran Remi Drolet wins gold in 10-k race at Canada Winter Games

Black Jack skier Remi Drolet won Team BC their first gold medal for week two at the 2019 Canada Winter Games on Monday in Red Deer.

The Rossland native raced to first in the 10 kilometre men’s cross country interval start, in his opening event of the Games.

“The race went really well,” Drolet said in a release. “It is a tough course with lots of steep hill and technical downhills. Since it is an interval start, you just have to go really hard the whole way. It is really cold right now and the snow is slow so it is especially important to go extra hard uphill.”

Drolet finished in a time of 22:05.1 in -19 C weather, almost 52 seconds ahead of Reed Godfrey of Alberta. The bronze medallist, Graham Ritchie (22:58.2), is from Ontario.

“It is really important to pace yourself and not go super hard off the start because you knew I had to push extra hard later to get ahead. I feel really good today and was able to maintain proper technique the whole race so I was happy with that.”

The Black Jack Ski Club veteran has been a member of the junior national ski team since 2007. The 18-year-old competed at the Nordic Junior World Ski Championship in Lahti, Finland last month and finished in seventh place. He is also a recipient of the 2018 Petro-Canada Face grant, and was awarded the Governor General’s Bronze Medal for Academic Excellence in November at the Seven Summits Centre for Learning in Rossland.

In the women’s 7.5 km cross country free technique race, Benita Peiffer of Whistler won silver, behind Lara Leclair of Quebec, while Black Jack’s Jasmine Drolet came in sixth and Molly Miller in seventh place.

Five Team BC athletes, including Drolet, finished inside the Men’s Top 10. Joe Davies finished just off the podium with a time of 23:18.7 in fourth place. Michael Murdoch (Whistler) finished in seventh, Tallon Noble (Kelowna) and Ian Williams (Kelowna) finished in 10th.

“I just want to say thanks to all the volunteers and organizers at today’s race. It was perfect,” said Drolet.

The 15-km mass start goes today,(Thursday) but results are unavailable.

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