Transparency, dedication sum up B.C.’s most inspirational sports stories of 2019

BLACK PRESS YEAR IN REVIEW

Transparency, dedication sum up B.C.’s most inspirational sports stories of 2019

B.C. athletes proved to be leaders on the national and international stage despite current and past physical, mental challenges

This story is part of Black Press Media’s 2019 Year in Review. Celebrate the end of a decade by taking a look back through our top stories by clicking here.

In 2019, British Columbian athletes proved that obstacles could be surmounted with a certain level of mental toughness.

Oftentimes, transparency and openness of one’s sport is what provide’s that level of mental toughness for athletes.

To round out the year, Black Press Media took a look back at athletes – of all ages – who overcame barriers and hardship with the same level of passion and resilience they bring to their sport.

These are the most inspirational sports stories from around the province in 2019:

Classical music and kickboxing help woman overcome learning disorders

Lindsey Christian-Hack started taking lessons in violin and kickboxing at the age of 7. The activities were picked by her mother – not out of want to expand her horizons, but to help Lindsey cope with her several learning disabilities. The Salmon Arm resident is now offering private lessons in two very different fields. Read more >

Parksville swimmer shatters four world records

Para swimmer Nicholas Bennett, 16, continued to make a strong case for a spot on Team Canada for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, after shattering four world short-course records at the International de Noel meet in Montreal. Read more >

Tofino’s Mathea Dempfle-Olin with historic medal for Canada

Tofino’s 16-year-old sensation Mathea Dempfle-Olin claimed bronze in the women’s longboard competition, which took place at the world-renowned point break of Punta Rocas, south of Lima’s city centre in Punta Negra.

“At the moment I’m definitely a little bit bummed,” Olin said, fighting back tears. “But I think when I go home and look at the big picture, I’ll be pretty happy.” Read more >

Disabled athletes paddle and bike from Revelstoke to Nelson

Two athletes paddled and biked from Revelstoke to Nelson with a catch: they have severe spinal cord injuries and cannot walk.

“I can’t make it through one Netflix show. I’d rather be outside,” said Ethan Krueger, one of the athletes participating. Ethan Krueger along with Tanelle Bolt left Revelstoke on July 2, with a goal of reaching Nelson in 10 days. Read more >

Ultramarathon runner Carter Hawke follows in father’s footsteps

When Carter Hawke was 15 years old, he would run for stretches alongside his dad, Ferg, as the elder Hawke completed the gruelling Badwater Ultramarathon – billed as the world’s most difficult footrace – in the blistering summer heat of Death Valley, Calif.

This year, the Semiahmoo Peninsula resident took home a third-place finish at the Whistler Alpine Meadows event. Read more >

Concussions end Trail’s Kyle Chernenkoff’s career, open doors behind the bench

Trail Smoke Eaters veteran defenceman Kyle Chernenkoff’s playing career came to an abrupt end this year, but the Smoke Eaters did all they could to help soften the blow. Read more >

Terrace Indigenous skater takes front page of US magazine

Gitxsan-Tsimshian member Teysean Angeline Henry, 15, was featured on the front cover of Native Hoop, a popular US magazine showcasing Indigenous success. Read more >

Whitecaps inform police of allegations against South Surrey coach after more players come forward

A number of formers players on Canada’s national women’s soccer program released details in April of abuse allegations against a Vancouver Whitecaps coach.

“We come forward 10 years later because: some of us didn’t know he was still coaching, and we all look back at our experience with Canada Soccer and the Vancouver Whitecaps and think the situation should have been handled differently,” a joint statement from 13 former members said. Read more >

The best of Canucks sports reporter Jason Botchford

He wasn’t an athlete but Jason Botchford was synonymous with the Vancouver Canucks. He died at the age of 48 and was widely known for his Canucks post-game reports, first called “The Provies,” then “The Athletties.”

His reporting provided edgy, insightful commentary and a unique, zany approach. Read more >

Trail’s Katie Yuris recieves BC Hockey Coach of the Year

Katie Yuris became just the second woman to win BC Hockey Coach of the Year, since its inception in 1979-80. She joins Christine Gardiner, who received the honour in 1996. She also joins 2012-13 recipient Ken Koshey and 1999 recipient Mike Mondin as the only Trail coaches awarded the honour. Read more >

Former hockey pro, Jim Lessard, recovering on and off the ice

Now a resident of Prince Rupert, Lessard had carved out a successful hockey career for himself, playing across Canada and the United States. When an injury ended his career, however, Lessard fell into a spiral that took him the last 20 years to emerge from. Read more >

Olympic skier from Nanaimo suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Allison Forsyth, who competed in the 2002 Winter Games, sought to become the representative plaintiff of a certified class of former elite skiers who claim they were psychologically, physically and sexually assaulted, harassed and abused by their coach, Bertrand Charest, while they were members of the Canada’s national junior skiing team. Read more >

NHL goaltender Carey Price comforts young fan who lost mom to cancer

The family of a young boy who lost his mom to cancer said words cannot described their gratitude for the kindness shown by Montreal Canadiens netminder and Anahim Lake’s Carey Price after an emotional meeting between the two earlier this year. Read more >

NHL honours Aldergrove athlete and grandmother’s ‘fight’ against cancer in special match

Born and raised in Aldergrove, Las Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Shea Theodore battled the San Jose Sharks in a special “Hockey Fights Cancer” match.

Theodore, now a survivor, continues to curb the stigma surrounding men’s testicular health both on and off the ice. Along the way, he’s been accompanied in the fight against cancer by another member of his family, his grandmother Kay Darlington. Read more >

Going by electric car: Revelstoke adventurer does 100 summits without fossil fuels

In 2006, Greg Hill set a world record of 50,000 ft in 24 hours. In 2010 he climbed and skied 2 million vertical ft in a year. In 2014, he did 330,000 ft in a month.

But this year included a special accomplishment to add to Hill’s growing list: adventuring sustainably.

“If I was just to have done ten summits, it’s like ‘oh, maybe he just got lucky,’ but it you do 100 ventures it’s proof that it works,” Hill said. Read more >


@kieranroconnor
kieran.oconnor@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Best of 2019

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Auto thief in black balaclava trying to break into car with screwdriver. (Pixabay photo)
Island hikers and park users warned to keep valuables in vehicles out of sight

Spring weather draws more hikers out to rural parking lots, where thieves are at work

The Comox Valley Seniors Village and Casa Loma communities planted a tree on Earth Day - April 22, 2021. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Going green – and pink – for Earth Day

The Comox Valley Seniors Village and Casa Loma communities planted a tree to honour the day

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

Col. Bryn Elliott is the new wing commander of 19 Wing Comox. Photo submitted
New wing commander at 19 Wing Comox

The ceremony was presided over virtually by the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.

Comox council voted to change the speed limit from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr along a stretch of Lazo Road. Photo submitted
Speed limit change coming to Lazo Road in Comox

Racing, pedestrian safety issues presented to council

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Vancouver Islanders warned of fire risk caused by dry conditions

As dry spell poised to end, officials warn of risks involved with backyard burning

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Most Read