Sport venues across Surrey were alive with action Saturday, the second day of competition at the 2012 Surrey BC Summer Games. With weather conditions much improved over the opening day, the athletes put on an incredible display of talent. In the backs of the minds of many of them was the inspiration that 25 members of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team, ready to compete in London next week, are BC Games alumni.
Vancouver teen Jasper Schiedel won Gold in Pentathlon, a grueling five-event competition capped off with a 1,000 metre run. The 14-year-old won with a cumulative score of 3,097 points after leaving his competitors in the dust on the final leg. Powell River’s Zane Hernandez, representing Vancouver Island-Central Coast (Zone 6) won Silver with a cumulative score of 2,721 points while Chilliwack’s Ryan Higuchi (Zone 3 Fraser Valley) won the Bronze with 2,410 points.
Triathlon competition also came to a close Saturday. Delta native Michael Milic, 14, won all three Triathlon events in the male division this week. Holly Henry of Victoria placed first in the Triathlon Sunday while fellow Victoria competitor Farisha Arensen placed first in the Aquathlon and Duathlon.
At Abbotsford’s Albert Dyck Park, Shawnigan Lake’s Desman Perry won double Gold after almost missing the opportunity to compete at the Games. The 13-year-old water skier received a wild card berth to the Games after failing to make the Zone 6 Vancouver Island-Central Coast squad. He made the most of the opportunity, winning in slalom and trick in the very competitive Boys 2 division.
In volleyball, the Zone 3 Fraser Valley's volleyball B team completed an extraordinary achievement when they jumped in at the last minute to replace another team, and then playing to qualify for the Bronze medal game.
Zone 6 weathered a late rally to earn a berth in the box lacrosse final. Sunday’s matchup will be an Island vs. Mainland battle, as Vancouver Island-Central Coast goes up against Zone 3 Fraser Valley for BC Summer Games gold. Zone 2 Thompson-Okanagan will take on Zone 4 Fraser River-Delta, a match-up of teams that missed playing for first place by one goal each.
Campbell River's 17-year-old wrestling prodigy, Ashley Osachuk, has an extensive list of accomplishments for her young age. With over five years of training and more than 35 tournaments under her belt, she can finally add her Gold medal win in the 56 kg weight class to her impressive resume which includes a second place showing at the 2010 BC Summer Games and a fourth place finish at the Cadet Pan Am Games in Venezuela.
At Bear Creek Park, 14-year-old Chanell Botsis of Coquitlam grabbed double Gold, in girls discus and javelin. The wins followed Friday’s Gold in hammer, making her 3-for-3 at the Games.
In equestrian competition, Tristiana Allwood of 100 Mile House, Kelowna’s Melissa Ramsay (both with Zone 2 Thompson-Okanagan) and Kim Scott of Victoria (Vancouver Island-Central Coast – Zone 6) stood on the podium to receive their medals for Para-Dressage. It was the second medal for Ramsay and Scott. Another equestrienne, Kaylee Shukin, 13 of Nelson wone Gold in vaulting while New Westminster’s Carley Harder (Fraser River-Delta – Zone 4) received Silver and Janelle Roed of Abbotsford (Fraser Valley – Zone 3) won Bronze.
Man in Motion Rick Hansen was just your average proud parent on Saturday, cheering on youngest daughter Rebecca, a member of the Zone 4 Fraser River Delta beach volleyball team.
“I remember when I was a kid I had a chance to come at the BC Summer Games," said Hansen. "It was one of the inspirational moments in my athletic career and it launched me towards Paralympic and Olympic competition. Through that I realized that I could give back and support sport as well. That’s one of the core values and attributes of the BC Summer Games.”
Hansen noted that the volunteers at the BC Summer Games are a core element of the event. He expressed his gratitude to them for all their hard work, saying that it presents great opportunities to come back and close the circle from athlete to supporter. Over 3,000 community volunteers are contributing to the success of the Surrey Games.
The 2012 Surrey BC Summer Games conclude Sunday when many of the medals for team competition will be awarded and the 2,300 athletes will say goodbye to new friends and the experience of a lifetime.
With an average athlete age of 14 years, the BC Games are an important step and a training ground for the province’s best young athletes as they work toward provincial and national team programs.