Golden Guy!

Labrador City cross-coun­try skier sweeps gold at Cana­dian Masters cham­pi­onships

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MIKE POWER

Just say the name Alf Par­sons in Western Labrador and the first im­age that pops into most peo­ple’s heads is the svelte toned cross-coun­try skier glid­ing ef­fort­lessly across the fin­ish line.

Par­sons has been ski­ing for decades, and ac­tu­ally started the sport later in his ath­letic ca­reer which also in­cludes broom­ball, golf, run­ning, cy­cling, and any com­bi­na­tion of some the those sports and more. Many peo­ple who watch him at races find it hard to be­lieve he is now ski­ing in Masters Com­pe­ti­tions in the group aged 65 to 69.

In re­cent years, Par­sons has per­formed ex­traor­di­nar­ily well at pro­vin­cial, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional events with lots of podium ap­pear­ances.

Now, this year is turn­ing out to be an­other that will mean Par­sons will have to look for more stor­age space for his medals.

In early Fe­bru­ary, Par­sons took first place in both the 10k freestyle and classic races at the Pro­vin­cial Masters at the Whales­back ski club in Stephenville. It was a good warm up for the next big event, the Cana­dian Masters cham­pi­onships held in Charlo, New Brunswick Feb. 12 to 18.

“It was a good com­pe­ti­tion for me,” says Par­sons.

The week-long event meant four races for the Labrador City res­i­dent. Two in the classic di­vi­sion in which skiers use the tra­di­tional style ski­ing in set tracks. The other two are a 10km and a 20k.

Par­sons skied to gold in the 20k in a time of one hour and 15 mins. Gold was also his in 35 min­utes for the 10 k classic.

In the freestyle event, which many peo­ple know as the skat­ing tech­nique, it was dou­ble gold once again. Win­ning times of one hour and three min­utes in the 20k freestyle and 33 min­utes in the 10k.

“Rac­ing on this level is a good way to stay com­pet­i­tive,” Par­sons told TC Me­dia.

As well, there are skiers as young as 30 in some of the races. Even though Par­sons com­petes in Di­vi­sion 8, which is for rac­ers 65-69, he is on the same course as the younger rac­ers, “a great form of mo­ti­va­tion, and in­cen­tive to ski harder,” he says. In fact, Par­sons was third over­all in the 10k race and sixth over­all in the 20k, which can mean rac­ing com­peti­tors half his age.

How­ever, all that gold doesn’t mean it’s time to rest on his lau­rels. The day af­ter re­turn­ing from the Cana­dian Masters Par­sons was back on the trails of the Meni­hek Nordic ski club in Labrador City, train­ing for his next big event. The Worlds Masters cham­pi­onships will be held in Klosters, Switzer­land from March 3 to 10. Three races, in­clud­ing a 30k freestyle, will test his tech­nique and en­durance, but this time un­like many pre­vi­ous world cham­pi­onships Par­sons will not be there alone.

“I’m ex­cited that this year I’ll be trav­el­ling with a group of 10 skiers, five from Meni­hek Nordic in Western Labrador, three from Stephenville, and an­other from the Ot­tawa area,” he said.

The skiers leave Feb. 27 to give them time to get over jet lag, and get ac­cli­ma­tized.

Par­sons, who has no pre­dic­tions for his per­for­mance, says no mat­ter the re­sults, the ex­pe­ri­ence for all the skiers will be one of a life­time.

Daily re­sults will be posted at the web­site for the World masters cham­pi­onships.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Alf Par­sons, mid­dle, re­cently won four gold medals at the Cana­dian Masters cross-coun­try ski­ing cham­pi­onships held in Charlo New Brunswick.

Alf Par­sons is back train­ing at the Meni­hek Nordic ski club in Labrador City just af­ter sweep­ing the Cana­dian Masters cross-coun­try ski­ing cham­pi­onships. Par­sons is now train­ing for the cross-coun­try ski­ing Worlds Masters cham­pi­onships be­ing held in Klosters, Switzer­land March 3 to 10.

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