Alf Parsons just won’t quit winning at the Labrador Winter Games. The 62 year old from Labrador City came into the 2013 games with 30 medals to his name. He left with five more.
Parsons, who has competed in international skiing events throughout his life, began his 2013 medal collection with a silver in the target shoot, but from there it was all gold. He came first place in cross-country skiing, cross country skiing relay, snowshoe biathlon, and northern triathlon.
“I love doing it. I love competing, I always did,” says Parsons. “It’s just the thrill of doing stuff; the medals are secondary.”
Throughout the entire week, this patron of the games demonstrated tremendous stamina and unwavering endurance. After winning the cross-country relay race, Parsons competed in the snowshoe biathlon just a few hours later, and never seemed to get fatigued.
After competing in four events between Monday and Friday, some may think that Parsons would be exhausted. But in the final event of the Labrador Winter Games, Parsons took home the gold medal, once again, in the triathlon.
Parsons competed in the very first games in 1983. Many would be surprised to hear that he earned a bronze in skiing, instead of his usual color, back then.
“I was barely able to ski,” says Parsons. “ I just started skiing the year before. I was supposed to do the biathlon that year (as well), but our plane got delayed.”
Despite all of his awards and successes in cross country skiing, Parsons’ favourite Labrador Winter Games moment came in a snowshoe race more than 15 years ago.
“One of the best that I ever won was in the snowshoe race when I was 46 years old. To win a (gold) medal in the snowshoe race against the younger people, I found that really nice.”
Parsons has demonstrated that age is just a number when it comes to athletics. His continuous ability to be a dominant performer in the Labrador Winter Games makes him an inspiration to other athletes.
“It’s just adjusting your lifestyle,” says Parsons on how he keeps his athletic ability going. “It’s something you do everyday, and it got to be a lifestyle for you and something you enjoy doing.”
“I know that I’m slowing down. I’m slower than I was 10 years ago, I know that. But you just work on technique and just keep going.”
In the cross-country relay race, Parsons was paired with 14-year-old Makaila Hudson, who had a very successful winter games herself, despite her young age. Along with the gold she won with Parsons in the relay event, Hudson also got gold in the snowshoe race and a bronze in women’s cross country skiing. She was thrilled to be teamed up with parsons for the relay event.
“Oh my God, it was good, I got to meet a world class skier,” says Hudson.