Comox Valley athletes once again distinguished themselves at the BC Seniors Games.
The many success stories run the gamut from those making their Games debut, such as Francisco Machado in track and field, to veterans such as cyclist Dora Ellis.
Ellis returned from Burnaby with three gold medals as she swept the Women 75-80 competitive age division with wins in hill climb, road race and time trial. The Courtenay cyclist began competing in the Games in 1991 as a novice and while she has skipped a few, she figures she has been to about 15 Games, collecting an impressive 50 to 60 medals along the way.
Machado, meanwhile, raced to silver in 200m, 400m and 800m in the Men 65-69 age division. “This was my first time participating at the BC Seniors Games,” he said.
“However I have participated at the Canadian Masters, Ontario Masters, North American Masters and World Masters,” the Comox competitor said, adding he is making a comeback after seven years of being inactive due to a busy work schedule. Machado medalled at the Ontario, Canadian and North American Masters events.
Ellis said she beat her competitors by comfortable margins in all three of her races, noting the highlight was “finishing the hill climb,” which was held on a very steep course near Simon Fraser University.
Despite the travelling involved (next year’s Games are in Kamloops and the year after that in Langley), Ellis says she enjoys competing at the annual event. “It really builds up your stamina,” she said.
Ellis has as much stamina as she does Senior Games medals. She cycles three or four times a week, and as a member of the Cross-Canada Cycle Tour Society has been to New Zealand twice, Australia, Arizona and pedalled through the Rocky Mountains.
“I have not gone across Canada and I’m kind of sorry I’ve never done that. But that’s OK,” the affable Ellis smiled.
Ellis rides a 20-pound Trek bike, and she thanked Jeff and the staff at Lake Trail Bicycles for their assistance.