(ISN) – Team BC brought home another 12 medals on Thursday at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Podium finishes took place in figure skating, cross country skiing and in judo with one gold, three silver and eight bronze medals awarded.
The first medals of the day took place at the Otway Nordic Centre where para cross country skiers Emily Suchy, Revelstoke, and Emily Weekes, North Vancouver, each earned their third medals of the Games. Suchy won a third gold, this time in the sit-ski 5km race. Weekes won silver for a third time in the standing 5km.
The third medal awarded to B.C. at Otway came after a dramatic race in the men’s 10km mass start. The race did not begin well for Revelstoke’s David Palmer, who lost a pole early in the event. But the spirit of the Games was alive and well when Team Yukon offered Palmer a spare pole, which just happened to be the right size.
With two poles in hand, Palmer had to make up for lost time. He spent the first lap trying to get back into the front of the pack. By the second lap he was in the front and with a hard push to the finish, ended up in third place, capturing his first medal of the Games.
“It was pretty exciting here at Otway,” said Palmer. “It was the best cheering I have ever heard and gave me a ton of energy to get up the hills. I have never experienced a crowd like that.”
Over at the Kin Arena, five Team BC athletes won bronze medals in figure skating. McKenna Colthorp (13, Fort St. James) placed third in the novice women’s figure skating. Surrey’s Stephanie Divin, 15, earned a bronze in the Special Olympics Level 2 figure skating. In the dance competition Ashlynne Stairs (14, Burnaby) and Lee Royer (16, Burnaby) took bronze in novice dance and Brian Le (14, Delta) earned a bronze in the novice men’s competition.
Team BC rounded out the day with five medals at Judo. The tatami was swarming with B.C. athletes – they took home two silver and three bronze medals.
Earning silver were: Kelsey Painter (14, Campbell River) in the +78kg event and Tavis Jamieson (18, Delta) in the -100kg.
Bronze medals went to: Jeff Swadden (18, Abbotsford) in +100kg, Braxton Clark, 18, in the -90kg, and Megan Hanks (17, Kamloops) in the -78kg category.
Kelsey Painter’s silver medal in judo is a better result than she could have imagined. She made it into the finals as one of the youngest competitors. At just 14 years of age, Painter just earned her blue belt prior to the Games, which qualified her for the competition.
In the final she went up against a world champion bronze medalist and earned the right to take home the silver for B.C.
“I came into these Games with the intention of doing my best, I honestly did not think I would place,” she said. “I wanted to get out there and show that I have earned my title and my belt and prove that I am good enough to be there.”
Painter drew inspiration from her teammates’ competitions and strong results.
“I saw everyone else just fight their hardest and that’s what I wanted to do,” she said. “I had never fought my opponent before and she is just so strong and is a great fighter. I was so happy to have the experience and one of my goals was to be able to last with her and give her a good fight. I know I did that and even though I got the silver, it feels like a win for me.”
In curling Team BC defeated a challenging Team Saskatchewan by a score of 8-6 advancing to the semi final.
In men’s hockey, Team BC lost to Quebec by a score of 6-3.