Wakefield Quebec’s, golden connection

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by Trevor Greenway on March 4, 2010

Jasey-Jay Anderson

Jasey-Jay Anderson

Jeb, Linda and Felix Anderson were bouncing off the walls of their Wakefield, Quebec home Feb. 27. They didn’t win the lottery or a new car.

Instead, they had the uniquely thrilling experience of watching one of their family members win Olympic gold.

The three were huddled around the TV, glued to the screen as they watched their nephew and Canada’s snowboarding golden boy win the top medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

“It felt absolutely fantastic,” said Jeb, after watching his nephew Jaysey-Jay Anderson win gold in the Parallel Slalom snowboarding event at Cypress Mountain.

March. 3 front page

March. 3 front page

“We all knew how hard he has worked.”

The Alcove family erupted in cheers when they saw their family member come across the finish line just ahead of Austrian favourite Benjamin Karl. It was the same sort of eruption the entire nation took part in the next day when Canada’s Sydney Crosby scored the “golden goal” in overtime to knock off the U.S. in men’s hockey, only this celebration was a bit more intimate.

“(Jaysey) is a very special guy,” said Jeb.

Thirty-four-year-old Jaysey-Jay of Mont Tremblant was a bit behind on his first run of the finals and family members who were in the stands were worried. The only one who wasn’t worried was his older brother Jayme-Jay, as he knew exactly what his younger brother was up to.

“He has to put himself in a bit of a bad situation to be able to perform,” said Jayme Anderson about his brother’s ability to perform under pressure.

Jaysey did put the pressure on himself, as he was 0.76 seconds behind Karl in the first run. But it was his final run that did it, as he made up the difference in the top half of the course. The two were neck and neck until Jaysey pulled away, gaining more and more speed as he passed through each gate. He crossed the finish line ahead of Karl by less than half a second. It was a close race.

“He deserves it 100 per cent,” said Jayme who was in the stands when gold was hung around Jaysey-Jay’s neck.

The two brothers have spent plenty of time in the Wakefield area visiting with family members, as their father, Jay Anderson was also born here.

The 34-year-old border has made a career out of snowboarding, winning world cups more than a handful of times on the pro circuit as well as competing at four Olympic Games. His prior Olympic experiences proved to be disappointing though, as he finished 16th in Nagano in 1998, 29th in Salt Lake City in 2002, and 20th in Torino in 2006. This year in Vancouver was his time.

Jaysey has been on the road for the past four years traveling to different world stage events to prepare for his final Olympic completion in 2010. He was hoping to win gold and then retire to spend more time with his wife and his two young daughters. It looks as though that goal has been reached.