Barrie native’s next chance for a medal comes Friday in the boarder-cross event at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Norway

Alex Massie has already claimed a silver medal at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, but there’s still room for more hardware on the plane ride home from Norway.

The 26-year-old Barrie native won a silver medal in snowboarding last Friday.

In a phone interview, Massie told BarrieToday he was forced to leave for Europe a week late due to an injury that could have been much worse than it was.

“I was supposed to leave on Jan. 2, but I impaled myself on my backyard fence while moving a rail on Dec. 29,” Massie said. “I slipped, the fence went into my armpit and I had to pull myself off it. My little nephew went and got help and I was rushed into the hospital.”

Massie said the concern from doctors was that he shouldn’t be in another country if the stitches got infected, so he was to wait as long as he could.

The last stitch fell out the night before his first race, in which he placed second.

Grit and determination are nothing new to Massie, who lost his leg in a severe wakesurfing accident in 2011 and has since fought hard to become a nationally and internationally decorated athlete.

On Wednesday, Massie will have his first training day for snowboard cross (boarder-cross), which is typically four to six competitors racing down a course. 

The courses are usually narrow and include turns, jumps and other sections designed to challenge the rider’s ability to stay in control while maintaining a top speed. 

Racers will sometimes collide with each other mid-race, which is fine with Massie.

“It’s a fun course, I like it. It’s fast and glides well for a big guy like me to be able to use my weight to put speed on a course like that,” he said. “I would label myself as a boarder-cross specialist and say it’s my preferred event, so I’m looking forward to this week.”

While travelling in the pandemic world was a “little different than usual,” Massie said he doesn’t think about COVID-19 much except for when he has to test.

“I do the test and forget about it for the rest of the time. Not only do I have to focus on my events and training, but it’s nice to forget the issue and get on with life,” he said. “My mom and my girlfriend are here cheering me on and it’s nice to be able to see them as well.”

Massie still lives in Barrie with his parents in his childhood home, but mainly because he’s rarely home and spends a lot of time competing or at his place in Finland.

“I still call Barrie home. I love it, my family loves it. But I’m on the road six to seven months of the year and have a bedroom in Finland where my team trains out of, so instead of having an empty place in Barrie I stay in the carriage house above my parents’ garage,” Massie said. “It’s definitely nice to have some family time in between travelling and competing.”

Massie’s next chance at a medal will come on Friday in the boarder-cross event, should he do well in qualifications.

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