The northwest was well represented at the 2011 BC Seniors Games, as 61 athletes have returned home with 40 medals.
Events took place in the three communities of Nelson, Trail and Castlegar from Aug. 17 – 20, and a total of 10 gold, 20 silver and 10 bronze medals were won by local competitors.
Seniors from Prince Rupert, Kitimat and Terrace all worked together as zone 10 at the Games.
Donna Graf is a seven-year veteran at the Games and said as always there was a lot of fun, mixed in with good-spirited competition and camaraderie amongst returning friends.
“It’s like a reunion every year,” Graf explained saying she keeps in touch with other competitors in the off season.
Graf had a successful run at the 2011 Games, bringing home silver medals in the weight throw, the pentathlon and the weight pentathlon 60-64 women’s events.
She also won a bronze in the women’s 60-64 hammer throw event.
Graf traveled to the games with her mother, Maxine Smallwood, who was also was a strong competitor in the event, earning six silver medals and holding strong with her attendance at every single BC Seniors Games since the Games’ creation in 1987.
“I am really proud of my mom,” Graf said.
Smallwood won second place in the discus, the shot put, the weight throw, the javelin, the hammer throw and the weight pentathlon.
From Terrace, Ann Kantakis won silver in both the road race and time trial events for women’s cycling 65-69, and Trudy Rafuse took home bronze in the same two events in women’s 55 – 59.
Ernie Hidber brought home a bronze medal in the men’s 55-59 hill climb cycling event.
In golf, Terrace nabbed three gold medals as Jim Lynch won first in the men’s 70 – 74, Doug Mumford won first in the men’s 75 – 79 and Lillian Farkvam also had a first place finish in the women’s 65 – 69 group.
There were two silver medal winners in golf, with Ted Farkvam placing second in the men’s 70-74 and Lorraine Johnston also placing second in the women’s 60-64 competition.
For horseshoes in the men’s 65 and up class B, Bob Price won himself a silver, as did Bud Hallock in the men’s 65 and up class D.
For bowling, Henry Holleufer won himself both a gold and a silver medal in the
men’s and women’s 55 and up individual categories.
There were three bronze winners in the horseshoes events with Marg Sharp in the women’s 55 and up class E, Rose Thomas in the women’s 65 and up class B and Alfreda Price in the women’s 65 and up class E events.
On the track, Jim MacDougall won a silver in the men’s 80-84 discus event.
From Prince Rupert, Ray Leonard was a multi-time gold medalist on the track, winning a gold in the 10-kilometre road race and a gold in the 5,000 metres for men’s 60 to 64.
A pair of three Prince Rupert archers brought home six medals, including four gold. Fred Hutchings won gold in the ARC 3D shoot and the ARC target shoot for men’s 55 to 59 and Bob Bennett won gold in both those events for men’s 65 to 69. Wayne Lundman was just behind Hutchings in the same division, taking a silver for men’s 55 to 59.
In the pool, Dawn Quast brought home a bronze medal in the 50-metre breaststroke, the 400-metre freestyle, the 800-metre freestyle and a silver in the 100-metre breaststroke for women’s 60-64.
Zone director Bill Whitty said he is very proud of the showing from athletes in zone 10.
He notes that if you look at the ratio of people who went to the game compared to the number of medals brought home, it was a pretty impressive showing, although not uncommon for seniors in this region.
Whitty adds that although he congratulates all those who did win medals he knows that the majority of seniors are participating in the games because of the fellowship and friendships they build there.
“That’s basically what it is all about,” Whitty said.
The 2012 BC Seniors Games is set to be held in Burnaby next year, Aug. 21-25.
The annual event groups seniors from around the province into 12 zones, and the athletes compete in more then 24 different events.