B.C.’s Josh Telizyn (left) battles Kaleb Muller of Alberta for position in the male mass start in long track speed skating on Wednesday at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Four years after watching his idols compete in Fort St. John, B.C.’s Josh Telizyn wins bronze at 2019 Canada Winter Games

Four years ago, Josh Telizyn sat on the sidelines, itching at the chance to compete.

Telizyn, then just 12 years old got the opportunity of a lifetime when the 2015 Canada Winter Games long track event was moved to his home indoor oval in Fort St. John.

Those games were supposed to be in Prince George, but with conditions too warm at the outdoor oval, Telizyn got the chance to see his idols in the long track speed skating event up close and personal.

Fast forward to Wednesday, and Telizyn was standing on the podium with Manitoba’s Tyson Langelaar and Alberta’s Kaleb Muller after a bronze medal performance in the 1000m.

“To stand on the podium with the guys that were in (Fort St. John), that I was just in awe over, it’s kind of unbelievable,” Telizyn said.

“Four years ago, those guys were my idols, now they are my competitors. It’s pretty surreal.”

When he passed the finish line, just a one-tenth of a second behind Muller and less than a second ahead of Alberta’s Paul Coderre, Telizyn couldn’t believe what happened.

“I felt confident going into it, but I couldn’t be cocky confident. Just kept my composure,” he said.

“My opening 200 was a bit slower than I would have liked… I was angry in that last 800 and I wasn’t letting this go after what happened in the 500.”

To say it was a tough week for Telizyn would be a massive undersell.

The 16-year-old slipped in the first race of the 500m Sunday, crossing into another lane and was disqualified. His time of 37.55 in the second 500m race of the day, was the second fastest among the competitors. In the Team Pursuit later that day, Telizyn fell once and as he was catching up to the pack and his teammates, he fell again and B.C. finished seventh.

“It’s an absolute roller coaster, but this is amazing. We’ve been building towards this quite a bit. It’s nice to put in the work and finally get a reward,” Telizyn said.

After a malfunction with the timing clock and lap counter, the men’s mass start, which was originally raced on Wednesday, is set for a re-race on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. at Setters Place.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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Josh Telizyn (left) along with Manitoba’s Tyson Langelaar (middle) and Alberta’s Kaleb Muller show off their medals from the 1000m long track race on Wednesday during their second last day of competition at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

B.C.’s Josh Telizyn (left) battles Kaleb Muller of Alberta for position in the male mass start in long track speed skating on Wednesday at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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