Special to the Record
The Langley 2014 BC Seniors Games had a motto “Everyone Wins” referring to all the participants, volunteers, spectators, sponsors, businesses and local residents who benefited from the staging of this year’s competition. The most significant “win” was the motivation and admiration everyone experienced watching over 3,800 physically active and socially engaged seniors in action making these the best years of their life.
The Comox Valley Curling Club had three teams participating at the Games this year with representation in the Women 55+, Men’s 65+ and Mixed 55+. We also had local curler, Don Nickason picked up by the Dawson Creek team due to a family emergency and his team went on to capture the silver medal for the Mixed 65+.
The Jonsson team, representing Vancouver Island North in the Women’s 55+, had Kim skipping; Mary Holden, third; Sharon Walker, second and Mickey Colburn, lead. The team finished the round robin with a 4-1 record leading up to the final gold medal round where the Gwen Clark team from Langley was waiting.
The Jonsson team had beaten the Clark team last year in Kamloops and the repeat match was gearing up to be a dandy. The curling gods did not favour the Jonsson team who came up against a red hot foursome that were out for blood. They sent the Jonsson team home with silver and a challenge for 2015.
In the 64+ Men’s division, the Comox Valley team of Jack Holden, Richard Lewis, Daryl Wright and Reg Tressel played four games in the round robin, losing their first game to the Zone 1 Victoria team. The Victoria team was the defending gold medal winners and silver medallists at the recent Canadian Senior games in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
The Comox boys then raddled off three straight wins to qualify for the gold medal game. In the final game, they came up against the Victoria team again and, although it was a close game, the team came up just short of winning it all.
The Mixed 55+ team consisted of Brian Baltis, skip; Kathy Meunier, third; Ron Shymko, second and Elaine Starchuk, lead. The Baltis rink finished with a record of 4-0 in the round robin which also put them into the gold medal game. Their opponent, the Blashko rink from Summerland, finished with a similar 4-0 record. The Baltis rink entered the final eighth end, down by 2 points, and things were looking bleak.
With three rocks remaining, a perfect freeze was made which led to a tie game forcing an extra end. The two teams traded rocks in the extra end and Baltis drew to the eight foot behind cover with his last rock. Blashko, with his last, drew to the four foot and seized the gold! The Baltis team came home with the silver medal but the final was the most exciting finish to watch.
A wonderful time was had at the Games. The entertainment, the food and the hospitality in Langley all made it a fun and enjoyable experience. Many volunteers made the games possible and the Valley teams gratitude goes out to them. The 2015 Games in 2015 in North Vancouver will sport a new name and will officially be “55+ BC Games.” More information on the games can be found at www.bcseniorsgames.org.