Zone 2 athletes from Vancouver Island North won a combined 254 medals at the recent 55+ BC Games in Kelowna. They placed fourth overall in the medal count at the annual multi-sport event. The Okanagan-Similkameen and Fraser Valley zones topped the medal standings with 422 and 412, respectively.
Comox Valley athletes played a key role in the success of Zone 2. Black Creek swimmer Brian Staton, competing in the 70-74-year age class, added to a growing medal collection with a gold in the 50-metre backstroke and four individual silvers, along with a gold, silver and bronze in relay races. Jesse Van Muijlwijk of Courtenay (men 55-59) won the 25m and 50m breaststroke events, a bronze in the 400m freestyle, and a silver and bronze in relays. Joan Lightfoot (70-74) of Comox won bronze medals in the 100m breaststroke and 100m individual medley, and added a relay bronze. Gord Giesbrecht won two individual golds, two silvers and a bronze, along with a relay bronze. Bob Reed won three individual gold medals and a relay bronze.
In track and field, Francisco Machado of Comox was second in the 300m hurdles for men 70-74, and placed third in the 100m and 200m sprints. Competing in the 80-84-year category, Louise Reed of Comox won the 400m, placed second in the 50m, 100m and 200m, and added a bronze medal in the 3,000m power walk event. She was also part of a team that won silver in the power walk relay.
Comox golfer Grace Coulter won a gold medal in the women’s 80-84 division. Wayne Fleming and Jeb Stevens of Courtenay each won a silver medal, as did Marie Israel of Comox.
In soccer, the Zone 2 men’s 60-plus team went 3-1 in the round robin, and beat the South Island squad to win silver. The Zone 2 women’s team, Island Force, also won silver.
The rink of skip Joyce McCaig, third Bruce McCaig, second Wendy Pearce and lead Shirley Davis won gold in floor curling.
Bob Kitscherofski of Courtenay was second in snooker for men 55-64, and Courtenay’s Ron Griffiths won bronze in the 75-plus division.
In pickleball, Sharon deGoede and Evie MacDonald won silver in women’s doubles 3.75, as did Anna Edgar and Barb Lawrie in women’s doubles 4.0. Lawrie also won a silver in singles.
The Zone 2 Tsunami Storm won a bronze medal in women’s hockey. Comox Valley players on the team include Michele Claveau and Tammy Rodgers of Courtenay, and Pati Creamer and Jan Dafoe of Comox.
Courtenay cyclist Derek Steel won gold medals in the time trial, road race and hill climb in the 75-79 age bracket.
Black Creek bowler Donna Leche won a bronze in five-pin.
Nearly 4,000 participants attended the Sept. 10-14 event.
“We’ve already had our first meeting for the next Games,” said Courtenay resident Paul Kingan, who served as vice-president of the BC Seniors Games Society.
Next year’s Games will be held in Richmond.