Team BC earned their first medal of the 2019 Canada Winter Games when athletes skated to bronze in the female team pursuit event at Great Chief Park.

The team — consisting of Yuna Lovell (Fort St. John), Amanda Mitchell (Fort St. John), Laura Hall (Salmon Arm) and Brooke Braun (Fort St. John) — edged out Manitoba by .34 of a second to take the bronze medal on Sunday afternoon.

“It is amazing, really great,” said Amanda Mitchell, who is from Fort St. John. “Honestly, it means so much. It means our hard work has paid off. It means that we are finally able to show something for all this work and years of dedication we have put into this sport.”

Quebec won gold with a time of 3:28.70 and Alberta earned silver with a time of 3:33.05.

It was only about 30 minutes later that freestyle skier Brayden Kuroda (Penticton) landed Team BC their first gold medal.

Kuroda had a combined score of 121.65 to land the gold medal at Canyon Ski Resort on Sunday.
Competition was tight between the three medallists, with Alex Mysko (Ontario) taking silver with a score of 119.57 and Olivier Lessard (Quebec) who earned bronze with a score of 119.29.

After qualifications, Kuroda sat in second place with a score of 121.57.

B.C.’s Josh Maga (North Vancouver) finished in fifth place with a score of 112.59 and Sam Cordell (Vancouver) landed in seventh with a score of 104.78.

Over at RiverBend Nordic Centre, Andrei Secu won a bronze medal in the sprint distance (7.5km for the men and 6km for the women) with 2 bouts of shooting, once prone and once standing. Temperatures were cold and the wind gusty making shooting in the range a challenge for even the most experienced of athlete. Andrei was a competitive rugby player in his youth, playing on Under 18 teams when he was 14 years old and has clearly taken that energy into his aggressive style on the skis!

“My race was pretty good overall,” said a beaming Secu. ”I managed to put it together on the range which was a pretty big part. I think that was key in the tough and windy conditions. On the skis I was feeling a bit slow but that will only get better as the week goes on.”

The Gold Medal went to Quebec and Leo Grandbois of Quebec and silver to Reid Lovstrom, of Calgary, Alberta.

The next race is on Tuesday with the start time likely to be postponed to the afternoon to ensure warm conditions for the athletes.

The artistic swimming competition of the 2019 Red Deer Canada Winter Games kicked off on Sunday with the presentation of the solo technical event. Held at the Sport Centre in Calgary, the event featured 19 athletes representing nine provinces as well as the Yukon Territory.

In the technical program, athletes present a 2-minute routine in which they must perform, in the same order, five technical elements. They are judged on execution, general impression as well as for the quality of their elements.

Team BC athletes Hannah McDonagh-Proud (Nanaimo) sit in 7th place with a score of 71.8972 and Kendall Stirrat (Vancouver) is 9th with a score of 70.5614.

The solo event will continue on Tuesday with the presentation of the solo free preliminaries.

Competition resumes Monday with the presentation of two other technical events: duet starting at and team.

After a loss to Manitoba in their first game, BC came out tentative against Saskatchewan and held on for a 4-3 victory. Saskatchewan actually scored the opening goal off a BC turnover and scored another off a broken BC stick. Saskatchewan out shot BC 10 to 2 in the first 15 minutes of the game. Goals by Mathew Seminoff (Coquitlam), Logan Stankoven (Kamloops), Trevor Wong (Vancouver) and Jack O’Brien (White Rock) had BC ahead 4-2 but BC allowed Saskatchewan to score a short-handed goal with 50 seconds left on the clock to make things interesting. It was a big comeback win for the team who now take on hometown Alberta in a battle of 1 and 1 teams on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Team BC short track speed skaters jumped into competition at the Canada Winter Games on Feb. 17. In the 500 metre qualifications, Team BC had a strong day on the ice but the top results came from the skaters in the 1500 m event. A total of 15 skaters qualifying to the main event, while six others qualified to the main event via the repachage rounds.

“It went better than expected. I qualified for all the 1500 m races which is great. In the 500’s, I didn’t do quite as well in qualifying but the time were really good. My last 1500 was the best moment of the day because I got a good time and qualified,” said Samantha Spencer (Burnaby).

In the women’s 1500 m event Sherilyn Chung (Coquitlam) and Samantha Spencer (Burnaby) qualified directly to the main event.

Ainsley Spencer (Burnaby), Jane Green (Mission) and Annabelle Green (Mission) all have an opportunity to qualify for the main event via the repechage rounds on Monday.

In the men’s 1500 m event, Keanan St. Rose (Prince George) and Lukas Macdonald (Vancouver) qualified directly to the main event. Noah Hyun (Port Coquitlam) has an opportunity to qualify for the main event via the repechage rounds.

The repechage and main events for the 1500 m take place on Feb. 18. Men’s and women’s relay heat are also on Feb. 18.

Team BC wheelchair basketball was overpowered by Alberta in their opening game of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

BC led by one point (9-8) after the first quarter, but an explosive second and third quarter by Alberta put them out of reach.

Alberta was up 48-16 by the third quarter and never looked back. By the final buzzer, Alberta hand Team BC their first loss of the Games, 64-26.

Leading scorers for Team BC were Gabe Harrison (Pender Island), eight points, and Tanner Jung (Langley)  with seven points.

Team BC is back in action on Feb. 18 where they will face Nova Scotia at 5 p.m. at the Gary W. Harris Centre.

Nova Scotia also lost their tournament opener, 23-72 to Ontario.

Ringette split two games losing to Ontario 3-6 but defeating PEI 9-3. They play Quebec Monday at 3:00 p.m.