Solid contributions by Comox Valley athletes helped Team BC end the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games with the most impressive medal haul in recent history, earning medals in every sport.
Competing in Kamloops from Aug. 5-14, B.C.’s 345 athletes walked off the fields, courts, pools, course, mountains, lakes and mats with 130 gold, 68 silver and 63 bronze medals, an increase of 32 per cent over 2007. The 261 total medals betters the mark of 197 won at the 2007 Games in Strathcona County, AB.
In volleyball, Brad Gunter (Courtenay) boosted the men’s team to a bronze while Chelsea Tancon (Comox) lifted the women’s team to gold. In cross-country mountain bike, Amanda Wakeling (Courtenay) took bronze in the women’s race.
B.C.’s golf team made history, winning the first gold medals ever in the sport’s Games debut. Mark Valliere (Courtenay) scooped two golds, one in individual and one in team.
In other results, cyclist Nigel Ellsay (Courtenay) won gold in both men’s time trial and road race. Swimmer Kerri Denninger (Comox) won two silver and two bronze.
Nick Blackburn Courtenay) won gold in men’s 400m hurdles with a Games record of 52.89 seconds. Cody Parker (Comox) won gold in men’s javelin with a throw of 63.66 metres.
Haleigh Lloyd of Ladysmith, who trains with the Comox Valley Cougars Track and Field Club, won silver in women’s 100m hurdles. Also competing at the Games were cyclists Jordan Duncan (Comox) and Gillian Ellsay (Courtenay).
B.C. stood in first place in flag points after week one and was first in medal standings. The final tally had B.C. in first place in flag points with 213. Alberta was second with 187, followed by Manitoba with 166.
Flag points represent a system of measuring and ranking overall performance and are an indication of the depth of each respective provincial sport system. For example, flag points means soccer, with two medals (men’s and women’s) can be compared equivalently to canoe/kayak that has numerous medals in many disciplines.
The last time Team BC exceeded 200 flag points was when Abbotsford hosted the Western Canada Summer Games in 1995. Team BC captured over 52 per cent of the total gold medals, winning more gold medals than the rest of the provinces and territories combined.
“This is an amazing performance by Team BC,” said Irene Schell (Victoria)Team BC Chef de Mission. “This proves that B.C.’s sport system … is doing an incredible job helping athletes achieve personal best performances and to reach their podium potential. It also gives coaches the tools and resources they need to do their job. Team BC is a team effort and this is a tremendous team result.
“The talent pool of athletes in this province is deep,” continued Schell. “I look forward to following these athletes as they continue their journey to the top of national and international podiums.”
GAMES’ NOTES Team BC sent 345 athletes aged 12 to 42 and 72 coaches to the Games … B.C. has now won the Western Canada Summer Games Cup for the 10th time since their inception in 1975 … the 2011 Games brought together approximately 2,300 athletes competing in 19 sports, along with coaches, managers and officials from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory …