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BC Games Week and Torchbearers announced

BC Games Week and Torchbearers announced

Author: BC Winter Games/Tuesday, February 23, 2016/Categories: 2016 BC Winter Games, Karate, Skiing - Alpine, Skiing - Freestyle

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The Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games is celebrating the provincial proclamation of BC Games Week and local athletes who have been honoured as the Torchbearers for the Opening Ceremony on February 25.

"Sport can bring out the passion in anyone and these young athletes are testament to that. Their dedication to their sport has started them on a pathway to excellence which will have implications on many facets of their lives," said Kelly Mann, BC Games Society President and CEO.

A provincial proclamation declaring BC Games Week was signed by the Attorney General and Lt. Governor and presented to City of Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

"The BC Winter Games is a great way to showcase Penticton's amenities, beauty and friendly hospitality. We are so excited to welcome the 1,735 athletes, coaches and officials along with their friends and family to Penticton," said Jakubeit.

Four South Okanagan athletes will carry the symbolic torch at the Opening Ceremony that will officially kick off the beginning of the Games.

"We are so proud of our local athletes who inspire the community for not only their athletic accomplishments but their dedication to training for their sport and their achievements away from it," said Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games President Bill Bidlake. "We hope everyone will give them a loud and warm welcome as they help light the official cauldron at the Opening Ceremony."

The four athletes that will carry the torch are Penticton's Peter de la Mothe (Skiing, Alpine), Brayden Kuroda (Skiing, Freestyle), Anna Spence (Skiing, Freestyle) and Summerland's Caitlyn Riddle (Karate). All are competing for the Thompson-Okanagan Zone 2 at the Games.

Spence, who previously won a silver medal in Freestyle Skiing at the Mission 2014 BC Winter Games and a silver medal at the Nanaimo 2014 BC Summer Games in the 100 metre backstroke, will have double duties as a Torchbearer and stating the Athlete's Oath at the Opening Ceremony.

Torchbearer de la Mothe said his passion and dedication for skiing started when he joined the Apex Ski Club at eight years old. Getting the chance compete at the Games in his hometown has been nothing short of exciting.

"It really feels like the beginning of something big for me. It has really shown me that when you have a positive output into something that there is a positive outcome," said de la Mothe. "It is just super exciting. We have special jackets that we were given and it is a great feeling knowing that I am competing in my hometown in front of all these people that I know. Being named a torchbearer just adds to the whole experience."

Caitlyn Riddle saw her older brother and Zone 2 assistant coach, Declan Riddle, win two bronze medals at the Mission 2014 BC Winter Games in karate. That inspired her to reach for the same goal.

"The Games are a once in a lifetime opportunity and I knew I had to work hard for it, I couldn't just go for it without any effort," said Caitlyn, who won two bronze medals at the Las Vegas Open and is heading to Japan to compete in an international karate tournament this summer.

The Torchbearers have another BC Games alumni in Brayden Kuroda, with Penticton marking his second Games experience. His gold medal in moguls from the 2014 BC Winter Games still hangs in his bedroom.

"Those Games were super fun and keeps me inspired to keep going," said Kuroda.

The BC Winter Games showcase B.C.’s best young developing athletes. The BC Winter Games provide a unique opportunity for athletes to experience provincial competition in a multi-sport Games setting, taking the first step towards the national and international stage.

Competition will take place over four days in 17 sports such as badminton, biathlon, basketball, curling, diving, figure skating, gymnastics, judo, karate, skiing and speed skating, plus more.

The Opening Ceremony takes place on February 25 at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Doors open at 6 p.m. Pre-show entertainment at 6:30 p.m. and the celebration begins at 7 p.m. A limited supply of tickets are being released on Wednesday, February 24 at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC. Seating is unassigned and those attending should be prepared for standing room only.

For more information, visit www.bcgames.org.

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Regional Contact:    
Kristi Patton   
Director of Promotions    
Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games Society    
250.488.8367   
promotions@bcwintergames.ca    

Provincial Contact: 
Lia Threfall 
Communications Manager 
BC Games Society
250.387.1375
liat@bcgames.org

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