Ed Fergusson suffered a heart attack last September but that has not stopped him from competing in his favourite sport, weightlifting.
The 85-year-old who owns Ferg’s Weightlifting Club in Parksville, continues to train and last month competed in the virtual 2021 B.C. Masters Weightlifting Championship with three of his students, Ray Kasten, Ashley Madiuk and Dorthy Roi.
All four were outstanding in the B.C.-wide competition with Fergusson bagging a gold medal in the 85-89 age group with a total lift of 72 kilograms. Kasten also won his 65-69 age group with an impressive 140 kg total, which Fergusson said in normal times would have been a B.C. record.
In her first-ever competition, Madiuk performed well in the snatch and clean and jerk events, recording a total of 73 kg to earn a gold medal in the 30-34 age group.
Roi also showed her potential in her debut competition when she took a silver medal in 50-54 age group with a total lift of 63 kg.
Fergusson said overall he was happy with his students’ performance. He said they’ve all adjusted well to the virtual competition which he added is going to be the norm at this time while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing.
Fergusson, Kasten and Madiuk performed their lifts at Crossfit Nanaimo where they were videoed and judged while Roi complete all her lifts at Jim’s Gym in Parksville.
Fergusson is also pleased he has recovered well from the heart attack, which required two stents to be inserted.
“That slowed me down a bit,” Fergusson said. “I was being careful until last December. I was always in the gym either coaching or doing some light workout. But I actually got going and four weeks into the competition I was able to lift some decent weights again. It worked out well.”
Roi was delighted to have done well in her first competition. She was glad that it was a virtual competition as it made her feel a lot more comfortable as there’s was not a lot of people watching her.
“I was kind of shocked I got a silver,” said Roi, who took weightlifting as a way to improved her health. “It was pretty exciting. I never thought I’d every compete. So it was pretty cool.”
Fergusson said they will continue training at Jim’s Gym three times a week to prepare for a couple of virtual events, an inter-club competition and the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Championships.
“Ray Kasten was going to break from training but because he did so well and set a record in the B.C. one, he is going to continue on,” said Fergusson. “I may compete in it at as well.”