Canada Games: Ferrie sprints to gold

Black Jack skier Colin Ferrie of Kimberley won gold at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George on Tuesday.

Black Jack skier Colin Ferrie of Kimberley won gold at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George on Tuesday in a surprising finish in the Men’s Classic 1.5-kilometre sprint.

Ferrie, known more as a distance specialist, nipped Ontario skier Scott Hill at the finish line by 13/100 of a second to top the podium.

“The funny thing is I thought this race might be a cast away,” Ferrie told a Kimberley Bulletin reporter in a phone interview Wednesday. “So I was definitely really relaxed going into the race, not expecting too much, and I think in the end, that kind of helped me. It’s an amazing feeling right now. It’s hard to describe. I’m over the moon really.”

Ferrie led Black Jack skiers in the Games’ first event, finishing fifth in the 10-km. Classic on Sunday, while Rossland’s Geoffrey Richards placed sixth, and David Palmer seventh. Whitehorse skier Knute Johnsgaard won the evert while Hill took silver.

Ferrie wasn’t expecting much in the sprint but got progressively faster through the heats, placing third in his semifinal heat to make it to the final along with fellow Black Jack skier Julien Locke who advanced in the other semifinal.

“The course suited me well, the snow base was pretty good,” said Ferrie. “I’ve had a lot of good skate races lately, so I was feeling good. The final was a mass start. In both the quarters and the semis I was first off the line. I got off first in the final again and I picked up the pace right away. The climbs on the course really suited me. I’m not the strongest double poler, so I used the climbs. I had two guys but I held them off.”

Locke would finish sixth, while Simon Lapointe of Quebec took bronze.

The skiers raced in the 15-km. Free mass start on Thursday but results were unavailable at press time. Black Jack skiers will wind up their Canada Games experience with the 4X5-km. team relay on Saturday.