Successful Greater Vernon 2012 BC Winter Games come to a close

Successful Greater Vernon 2012 BC Winter Games come to a close

Author: BC Games Society/Sunday, February 26, 2012/Categories: 2012 News, 2012 BC Winter Games

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Vernon, BC -- The Greater Vernon 2012 BC Winter Games ended Sunday with the final medals handed out and 1,145 athletes from across the province headed for home with memories of what will be, for many of them, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Fierce competition in 15 sports gave participants a taste of what it is like to perform in a multi-sport environment.

As the BC Games cauldron flame was extinguished and the flag was passed to Surrey, host of the 2012 BC Summer Games, BC Games Society President and CEO, Kelly Mann said, "I think you can wrap it up by saying these were literally the best ever BC Winter Games."  He commended the 2,400 volunteers saying, "Whether they spent four hours, or two years, they did a collective job that hasn't been seen in this community for years and years, and I think that's just outstanding."

Biathlete Hunter Sones, 14, was presented the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence by Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster at the Closing Ceremony.  Sones, from Garibaldi Highlands, has been participating in biathlon since the age of five and was a double Bronze medalist at this weekend's Games.
There were numerous highlights over the three days of the games.  Sticking to their game plan was pure gold for the Zone 3 Fraser Valley girls hockey team as they defeated Zone 5 Vancouver Squamish 5-2.  The Zone 8 Cariboo-North East girls were assured a happy trip back home when they took the bronze medal for their  3-1 win over the host Zone 2 Thompson-Okangan.
In Badminton, Zone 5 Vancouver-Squamish took home the largest haul of team and individual medals. The team won gold in the Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles.  Only Zone 4 Fraser River Delta spoiled their chances of a clean sweep in the gold medal individual events.  In a close match Clement Chow, 13 and Marco Ling, 12, both from Richmond, and cousins, put in an amazing performance in their first big tournament, picking up the gold.
After a couple of days of challenging weather conditions at Silver Star Mountain champagne powder and sunshine greeted the Alpine male Slalom race on the final day of the Games. 
Kasper Whoolley of Squamish crossed the finish line in 37.64 for the win.  Jesse Howden of Cultus Lake received silver for his time of 37.89 while Finn Iles of Whistler completed the podium with his time of 37.94.  Zone 5 Vancouver-Squamish swept the female slalom medals.  Frances MacDonald, 13, of North Vancouver won the gold with a time of 37.85.  Ella Renzoni of West Vancouver won silver with her time of 38.72 while Micah Morris of Whistler received bronze for her 38.83 run.
Fraser River Delta's ringette team prevailed over their neighbours, Fraser Valley, to win the gold medal game 3-2.
"We wear red because we're hot hot hot," shouted Thompson-Okanagan fans who came out in full force to catch the bronze medal ringette game against Fraser Valley Replacements.  The support must have helped as the team from the host zone won 8-1 to earn their way to the podium.
Cross country skiing wrapped up at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre with an exciting relay race involving athletes, coaches and a para-nordic racer.  It was the first time that a para-nordic skier has raced in the cross country ski relay race at the BC Games. Emily Suchy joined the 'One Fish Two Fish' team representing Zone 2. "It was really cool because I got to ski with able bodied and I was on the track with other skiers, so I could try to challenge myself more," she said.
The winning Zone 5 team of Austin Reith of Whistler, Annika Richardson of Vancouver, Katie Weaver of North Vancouver and Rowan Morris of Vancouver finished in a time of 23.54.6. Richardson, 14, who won all three of her races said it was "one of the best experiences of my life."
With an average athlete age of just over 13 years, the BC Games are an important step for athletes toward provincial and national team programs. 
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Attached Photo:
Caption:  Frances MacDonald of North Vancouver on her way to a gold medal win at Silver Star Mountain.
Photo Credit:  Andy Stefansson 
Media Contacts:
Jan Mansfield, BC Games News Service
Lia Threlfall, BC Games Society Communications Manager

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