Team BC came to the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games as the province to beat and the first phase of athletes did not disappoint. Competing in nine sports, Team BC athletes earned 77 gold, 51 silver, and 41 bronze medals and leads the medal count with 169 medals.
On the track, Team BC was lead by Kelowna’s Jerome Blake who took gold in the sprint events including the 100M, 200M, 4x100M and 4x400M. Also from Kelowna, Rostam Turner, led from start to finish in the men’s decathlon and also took gold in discus and the 4x100m relay. It was a podium sweep of the women’s hammer throw with Natasha Akbarizadeh (Maple Ridge), Camryn Rogers (Richmond), Chanell Botsis (Coquitlam) taking the gold, silver and bronze respectively. Regan Yee (South Hazelton) raced to the third best time in Canadian history to take gold in 2000m steeplechase and followed up with gold in the 1500m.
Team BC basketball showed their skills with the men’s team taking gold against Manitoba in a thrilling 66-60 win. Four BC players hit double digits with Michael Kelly (North Vancouver) leading with 14 points, 12 of which came off three-pointers. The women’s team earned bronze against Alberta.
The beach volleyball siblings of Darby and Devon Dunn (White Rock) and Liam and Quinci Birker (Kelowna) won gold in women’s and silver in men’s.
On the water, Team BC canoe kayak team dominated earning 33 medals including 11 medals (seven gold and four silver) for Team BC flag bearer, Alex Brent (Dewdney). Kamloops canoe specialists, Alex Demishkevich and Zach Morgan, combined for five medals.
It was close to a five time podium sweep for the female cycling team of Erin Attwell (Victoria), Emily Handford (West Vancouver), Kelsey MacDonald (Pitt Meadows), and Stephanie Denroche (Whistler). The only event where Team BC did not win one of the medals was the mountain bike race. Sean Fincham (Garibaldi Highlands) added another three gold.
The men’s gymnastics team won gold and Abbotsford’s Cohen Kiers added gold in all around and medaled in four individual events. Teammate Dawson Friesen, also of Abbotsford, added gold in vault and floor. The women’s team won silver and Darby McIntyre (Saltspring Island) won gold on the floor.
Judo fought to gold in the team event for both men and women. The women’s team was lead by an inspired performance from Isabelle Harris (Abbotsford) who competed in a higher weight category and got the win on her 14th birthday. Another 13 medals were earned in the team competition.
On the court, the tennis took gold in team competition as well as men’s and women’s golds in doubles. Chi Chih Huang (Port Moody) won gold in the men’s singles despite battling through a bee sting on his hand suffered during the match.
In wrestling, both the men’s and women’s teams took gold and then every member of the team won a medal in the individual competition combining for 11 gold, nine silver and two bronze.
The athletes for the phase two sports which include badminton, baseball, gold, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, triathlon, and indoor volleyball have arrived in Wood Buffalo and competition begins again on August 13.