As you read this, Kimberley’s Colin Ferrie is in Kazakhstan representing Canada at the Under 23 World Cross Country Ski Championships.
This is a big deal for Ferrie, his first international competition, aside from a few in the States.
He dropped by the Bulletin last Friday, the day before his 32 hour flight to Kazakhstan.
Ferrie is excited at the upcoming competition, interested in seeing how he matches up against the best in the world — including a couple of Norwegian skiers he says blew him away in Quebec a few years ago. He thinks he will be quite a bit more competitive now.
Ferrie is still young for cross country skiing. The Under 23 championships are for the up and coming skiers, not the Olympic level. Cross country skiing is a sport where maturity matters. Rather than washed up at 23, a racer is just beginning.
“In cross-country, the best skier right now is turning 31 this year,” Ferrie said. “It’s more of a late-maturing sport.”
A future Olympics is definitely a dream, but Ferrie says that is a little far off right now.
“Making the U23 World Championship team is a stepping stone to the Olympics,” he said.
Ferrie has been on skis since he was very young, his parents starting him on both cross-country and downhill skis.
I asked him what made him stick to cross-country when many of his friends chose downhill.
“I always had a drive to push myself hard,” he said. “Downhill just didn’t have the thrill of pushing myself to exhaustion. It didn’t have the same competitive feel to me.”
Ferrie is devoting his life to cross country right now. In the summers, he works almost full time and gets in 25 to 30 hours of training a week, while living with Mom and Dad. In the winter, he skis with the Black Jack team in Rossland, though he wears Kimberley Nordic Club colours in races. Winter is full time racing and training as he follows the NorAm circuit.
Ferrie has a few sponsors and with results getting better he may get carded this year, something he looks forward to for a little help.
Cross County Canada selected him to the U23 team based on being first on the distance ranking list (189.34 CPL); this included third place finish in the skiathlon and second place in the 15K freestyle.
He definitely considers himself a distance skier, but recent good results in the sprints as well, now have Ferrie describing himself as an all round skier.
When Ferrie returns from Kazakhstan, he heads a week later to the Canada Games in Prince George, representing British Columbia again.
He will be joined by Kimberley Nordic Club team-mate Molly Miller.
“Four years ago I just snuck onto the BC team at 17. Molly is only 13. She is phenomenal.”