From dark horse to double gold medalist, Desman Perry’s rise to the top of the podium was a compelling story on Day 2 of the BC Summer Games towed watersports competition at Abbotsford’s Albert Dyck Park.
The 13-year-old water skier from Shawnigan Lake didn’t manage to crack the Zone 6 (Vancouver Island – Central Coast) team roster, but he received a wild card berth into the Games.
He made the most of the opportunity, winning a pair of gold medals – in slalom and trick – in the very competitive boys 2 division.
“I was just happy to get in and ski,” Perry said with a grin following the medal ceremony. “It feels pretty good . . . I just skied hard.”
Cory Bate, Perry’s coach, said the youngster wasn’t as big an underdog as his wild card status might have indicated. Skiers are picked for the zone teams on the basis of total points in slalom, tricks and jump. While Perry’s scores in slalom and tricks were solid, he lagged behind in the jump.
“His overall points didn’t add up, but he was obviously good enough to be out here,” Bate noted. “That’s why those wild card spots are there.
“I expected him to do well, but I didn’t expect him to do as well as he did. I knew he was capable of it, though. It’s just another day at the lake for him.”
Another Vancouver Island skier, Ben Leech of Cobble Hill, was second to Perry in both the slalom and tricks. The boys 2 bronze medalists were also from Cobble Hill – Dallin Foreman (tricks) and Jake Metcalfe (slalom).
Victoria’s Patricia Horwood (pictured right) and Cobble Hill’s Jed Leech also struck gold twice over. Horwood was the lone competitor in the girls 2 tricks competition, and she edged Brooklyn Sutherland of North Vancouver in the slalom.
Leech topped Cam Desloges of Shawnigan Lake in the boys 3 tricks, and also won gold in the slalom, beating out Vancouver’s Levi Cole and Sam Maj of Langley.
Nicola Horwood won two medals in the girls 3 division – gold in trick, and silver in slalom. She finished ahead of Emma McNichol of Nanoose Bay and Emily Krytor of Nanaimo in the tricks.
Rachel Maj of Langley won the girls 3 slalom, ahead of Horwood and Michela Phillips of North Vancouver.
• The BC Summer Games towed watersports competition wraps up Sunday with the jumps, beginning at 8 a.m. at Albert Dyck Park. The medals will be handed out at 11 a.m.