When Grande Prairie resident Wilf Marquis blew his knee out at the age of 23 playing hockey, he thought his time as an athlete had come to an end. However, a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chance to pick up something new has seen him kickstart a second athletic love.
Recently taking part in the 19th annual Tour de Bowness in Calgary, Marquis was sitting in 7th overall going into the final event, with the final rankings set to be released in the coming days. Marquis says it was a thrill to take part in his first fully sanctioned race.
“I played hockey growing up and when I was 23 I tore my PCL. I took up cycling but it never really caught on,” he says. “When COVID-19 hit, and the gyms shut down I had a road bike and started riding it, and since COVID started, I set my eyes on a couple of races that I completed this year.”
“When I placed second in Jasper in my first ever organized cycling event, I said to my wife how I place in the Okanagan and let’s see how far we can take this,” he laughed.
Over the weekend, Marquis was also able to bring in upwards of $500 in donations for the Great Cycle Challenge for kids with Cancer. He says it’s a wonderful opportunity to try and raise money doing something he already loves.
“I haven’t been directly affected with anyone in my family, but my wife’s side of the family, she has had members of the family who have had it,”
“If I can do my part and help people out, help kids out, I am doing something that I love, and I’m using that to help out kids who need it.”