George Grey went out on top.
The Rossland cross-country skier closed out his career with the national racing program in winning style on Saturday by capturing the 50-kilometre men’s race at the Canadian championships in Canmore.
The victory marked the third gold medal for the Black Jack Ski Club grad during the week-long national event.
“To go out by winning three gold medals in each of the distance races at the Canadian Championships in Canmore is a pretty awesome ending to a career,” Grey told reporters.
The 31-year-old Grey has skied with the national team for 10 years, competed in two Olympic Games, and attended five world championships. He teamed up with Alex Harvey to win a World Cup medal in 2009
On Saturday, he still showed his strength and stamina winning the long distance race in two hours, six minutes, 58.2 seconds.
“It was the most fun I have ever had in a 50-kilometre race,” said Grey. “When I was skiing to the finish, I just kept thinking of all those people that have been so supportive of me throughout my career. From coaches, to friends and family and sponsors and wax technicians
“I crossed the finish line and my dad was there waiting for me. We were both very misty eyed and fighting back tears. It was an emotional day, but I had so much fun being here with friends, family and teammates.
“(This) is the end of an amazing chapter in my life, and the start of an exciting new beginning.”
While Grey was fondly looking back on his brilliant career, several younger members of the Black Jack Ski Club were writing another chapter in their paths.
Julien Locke closed out the Canadian championships with a sixth-place finish in the junior boys’ 15km mass start Saturday.
Shawn deGroot was 14th and Peter Locke was 50th.
All three skiers had strong results in last Thursday’s sprint.
Julien Locke won the national junior boys’ title while deGroot and Peter Locke reached the quarter-finals. Jill Reynolds and Susanne Fraser also reached the quarter-finals in the junior girls sprint last Thursday.
They closed out the championships finishing 10th and 20th respectively in the 7.5km freestyle mass start.
Rounding out Saturday’s results was a solid 11th-place finish for Geoffrey Richards in the junior male 30km freestyle while Megan Heximer was 57th in the juvenile girls’ 7.5km race.