Salmon Arm and the Shuswap have won an abundance of 55+ Games medals this year, both in Canada and in British Columbia.
Held in Kamloops this year, the Canada 55+ Games in late August brought together competitors from across the country in 26 sports. It was the first time the Games had been held in British Columbia since their launch in 1996.
In women’s soccer – the sport’s first time as part of the Canada 55+ Games – four teams competed, all from British Columbia
Okanagan Ole, comprised of players from Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Brentwood Bay, won a silver medal.
The team was narrowly defeated in the final by BC Reign, a team they had tied in the round robin. Okanagan Ole beat contenders Kamloops and Island on the way to the gold medal game.
In men’s hockey, the Shuswaps fielded two teams, one in the 55-59 division and the other in the 60-64 division.
Wooden Sticks, the Shuswap team in the youth category, advanced to the medal round, winning bronze. The other three teams in the division were from Ontario, the Northwest Territories and Kelowna. Team Shuswap faced the Northwest Territories in the bronze medal game, playing their best game of the competition.
“The atmosphere in our locker room was great, which was really important to making it a fun and memorable week,” said team organizer Steve Rodwell.
At the BC 55+ Games in Victoria, Salmon Arm’s Rudi Ingenhorst won a bucketful of medals in the pool – four gold and one silver.
Ingenhorst won gold in two different age categories. Two were in the men’s 70-74 100m backstroke and 25m butterfly, while two golds and one silver were in the 65-69 division: the golds in the 25m backstroke and 50m backstroke , with silver in the 100m individual medley.
Salmon Arm’s Hellen Byron won something of a triple crown – a gold and two silvers in track and field, the 80-84 class.
Byron battled his way to gold in the 3,000 meter brisk walk and won silver in the shot put and shot put.
Duncan Banks won gold in the snooker singles category 65-74.
Two Salmon Arm sisters each won two cribbage medals.
Linda Brede and Cheryl Petersen won gold in Flight B after playing 12 nursery games on the first day, nine on the second and three on the final day, all in their flight. Then the three gold medals from each flight went head-to-head with the pair from Salmon Arm winning silver.
The secret to their success? “We were wearing our lucky pants,” laughed Petersen.
Brede and Peterson play crib once a week in the winter at the 5th Avenue Seniors Center, also where medalists Ralph Owens and Jarvis Wice play table tennis.
Owens, 91 in November, won bronze in the over-80 recreational singles category and received an award for being the oldest participant in table tennis.
Wice won silver in competitive men’s singles, 75-79. He said it’s wonderful to have role models like Ralph Owens at the center where fitness and a healthy lifestyle for seniors are front and center.
In tennis (short), Sue Ford and Indira Greenhough of Salmon Arm won silver in the women’s doubles 70-74.
From Chase, the Drummond/Mindel duo took silver in the women’s doubles 55-59.
Salmon Arm’s Pat Hutchins won three bronze medals in cycling in the 75-79 competitive division. The events were the time trial, the road race and the hill climb.
Blind Bay’s Karen ‘KP’ Packalen picked up bronze for the low gross women’s Flight A.
In the dragon boat event, the Kamloops Kids won silver, a team that included Nancy Baillie of Magna Bay, as well as Cindy Elsner and Monique Krahn of Sicamous.
The 2023 BC 55+ Games will take place in Abbotsford, August 22-26. The Canada 55+ Games are generally held every two years.
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