Seniors shine at 55+ Games

Terrace, B.C. seniors tell their stories of competing in the B.C. 55+ Seniors Games this year in Coquitlam.

Jim MacKenzie

The northern team narrowly edged out the win in the pickleball doubles competition at the 55+ B.C. Seniors Games this year.

It won 11-10 in the finals, said Dave Quinn from Terrace, who played with Kitimat’s KC Tam in the doubles event. “It was about as close as you can get,” he said.

The locals were leading 9-6, but their opponents went on a run to take a 10-9 lead. With their opponents needing only one more point to win, Quinn and Tam rallied for two points and a 11-10 victory for a gold medal. The pickleball players were two among 78 northern seniors to compete in the games this year, earning a total of 60 medals, with 26 won by Terrace contestants, who tallied 11 gold, nine silver, and six bronze.

Terrace’s five pin bowling team won gold, in the ‘B’ division, and bowler Kathy Harris won two ‘B’ individual bowling awards, bronze for “pins over average” in a single game and bronze for high single scratch. Diane Pritchard won bronze in the ‘A’ division for high single scratch.

Jim MacKenzie won bronze in cribbage. He said he was on a winning streak at first and was all set for first place until he was double skunked. That placed him in the battle for third, which he won to earn bronze.

In whist, Jean Thomson and Frank Ackerman both won two gold medals.

In competitive cycling, Ann Kantakis won two silver and Trudy Rafuse won two silver.

On Thursday, they had a time trial and Friday they cycled the 50K road race and 2-3K hill climb.

They cycled on roads around Mundy Park in Coquitlam, and the terrain was a challenge, with lots of hills ending in sharp corners.

Rafuse said weather was the big challenge, with pouring rain and close to 10-degree temperatures. But it was great to see all the other cyclists, she said.

Kantakis added that the cycling events were very well organized – the best she has seen – which made these games a real joy to compete in, despite the weather.

“Organizing is key… it made for a very good experience,” she said.

Four golfers also came home with medals, with Doug Mumford winning gold, Jim Lynch silver, and Lilian and Ted Farkvan each earning bronze.

Lynch said the golfing was great and it was wonderful to see his fellow B.C. golfers again.

“It was great to win silver, but it’s just being there (that I enjoy),” he said.

A regular top-finisher in track and field, Maxine Smallwood earned one gold and four silver in various events.

“The object of the game is to have fun, with a medal being a bonus. It appears that both were accomplished,” said zone representative Bill Whitty.

The northern zone, zone 10, represents Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Haida Gwaii, and the Nass Valley. There were 78 participants and five non-participants from the zone at the games, which had a whopping 3,100  attendees. The zone participated in 15 of the 22 available sports.

Next year’s games are in Vernon on Sept. 12-16, 2017.