About 100 athletes, 20 coaches and 25 officials from the Kelowna area will be among 1,735 participants at the 2016 B.C. Winter Games beginning today in Penticton.
The opening ceremonies at the South Okanagan Events Centre will kick off the four-day event, with doors opening at 6 p.m., pre-show entertainment starting at 6:30 p.m., and the celebration at 7 p.m.
A limited supply of tickets are being released at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC. Seating is unassigned and those attending should be prepared for standing room only.
Athletes 9 to 40 years old in 17 sports are participating in the Games that will involve about 2,500 volunteers.
The B.C. Winter Games showcase the province’s best young developing athletes. They provide a unique opportunity for athletes to experience provincial competition in a multi-sport Games setting, taking the first step towards the national and international stage.
Competition will take place over four days in 17 sports such as badminton, biathlon, basketball, curling, diving, figure skating, gymnastics, judo, karate, skiing and speed skating, plus more.
“Sport can bring out the passion in anyone and these young athletes are testament to that,” said Kelly Mann, B.C. Games Society president and CEO. “Their dedication to their sport has started them on a pathway to excellence which will have implications on many facets of their lives.”
Earlier this month, a provincial proclamation declaring B.C. Games Week was signed by the Attorney General and Lt. Governor and presented to City of Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.
“The BC Winter Games is a great way to showcase Penticton’s amenities, beauty and friendly hospitality. We are so excited to welcome the athletes, coaches and officials along with their friends and family to Penticton,” said Jakubeit.
Four South Okanagan athletes will carry the symbolic torch at the Opening Ceremony today.
“We are so proud of our local athletes who inspire the community for not only their athletic accomplishments but their dedication to training for their sport and their achievements away from it,” said Penticton 2016 B.C. Winter Games president Bill Bidlake. “We hope everyone will give them a loud and warm welcome as they help light the official cauldron at the opening ceremony.”
The four athletes that will carry the torch are Penticton’s Peter de la Mothe (alpine skiing), Brayden Kuroda (freestyle skiing), Anna Spence (freestyle skiing) and Summerland’s Caitlyn Riddle (karate). All are competing for the Thompson-Okanagan Zone 2 at the Games.
Spence, who previously won a silver medal in freestyle skiing at the Mission 2014 BC Winter Games and a silver medal at the Nanaimo 2014 BC Summer Games in the 100 metre backstroke, will have double duties as a torchbearer and stating the Athlete’s Oath at the opening ceremony.
Torchbearer de la Mothe said his passion and dedication for skiing started when he joined the Apex Ski Club at eight years old. Getting the chance compete at the Games in his hometown has been nothing short of exciting.
“It really feels like the beginning of something big for me. It has really shown me that when you have a positive output into something that there is a positive outcome,” said de la Mothe. “It is just super exciting. We have special jackets that we were given and it is a great feeling knowing that I am competing in my hometown in front of all these people that I know. Being named a torchbearer just adds to the whole experience.”
The following is a list of athletes, volunteers and officials from the Central Okanagan:
Kelowna — Athletes – Hannah Foxon, Autumn Kelbert. Head Coach – Charles Land. Assistand Coach – Dianne Land. Officials – Levi Kelbert, Ron Kelbert, Bonnie Loff. West Kelowna — Athlete – Christopher Basisty. Officials – Michelle Basisty, Helen Eddie.
Kelowna — Athletes – Arman Benoit, Joel Comfort, Howard Rose. Coach – Cory Kunz.
Basketball (Special Olympics)
Kelowna — Athlete – Aaron Dixon, Braeden Powley, Levi Packard-Ryan, Ethan Sun, Rober Varcoe.
Kelowna — Athletes – Sam Hardham, Lexi Hardham, Wyatt Schindler. Adult Superviser – Wilson Patrick. Head Coach – Derek Powley. Officials – Dale Copeland, Jesse Lafontaine.
Kelowna — Athletes – Kira Friesen, Colton Hay, Rory Hay. Head coach – Andrew Hay. Officials – Shayne Friesen, Lorraine Friesen, Richard Mackenzie, Cathy Mackenzie,Marianne Morgan, Christine Ransom.
Kelowna — Athlete – Katelyn McGillvary. Official – Ted Anderson.
Kelowna — Athletes – Valentina Davydova, Brady Diduck, Katjana Geismayr, Dayton Jensen, Nolan Schmeeckie. Head Coach – Rick Diduck.
Kelowna — Athletes – Daria Carr, Alyssa Dobbs, Madeline Foley, Summer Peitsch, Maya Rose, Ashley Sales. Officials – Sandra Lenuik, Tamara Mapoles, Lorraine Marpoles. West Kelowna — Athletes – Vienna Harwood, Tianna Potts. Adults Supervisor – Dan Potts.
Kelowna — Grace Akurienne, Mackenzie Carroll, Grace Driver, Oliver Eisele, Kayleigh Nicolson, Jack Nyrose, Camille Phillips, Willis Plant. Head Coach – Heather Ivanitz. Assistant Coaches – Jesse Jakins, Jon Mason. Officials – Kelly Atamanchuk, Kim Dennis. West Kelowna — Athletes – Jillian Beaudreau, Brady Clegg, Kenedi Woodcox.
Kelowna — Athletes – Sophie Dekergommeaux, Abby Freeborn, Josh Hamilton, Ben Leatherdale. Officials – Stuart Leatherdale. Winfield — Athlete – Anna Auch.
Kelowna — Athletes – Casni Govender, Simarjit Kaloty, Jason Sali. Official – Kyle Beaudoin, Emily Reid. West Kelowna — Athletes – Deston Giang, Paige Reekie, Dylan Reeves, Jacob Vodarek. Officials – Mike Ditson, Caleb Enns.
Kelowna — Athletes – Deziree Day, Grace DeMug, Reanne Mitchell. Head Coach – Rob Mitchell.
Kelowna — Athletes – Nicole Amaral, Carlie Dudych, Paige Manning, Kianna McRae, Quinn Polack, Talia Russouw, Chlesea Statham, Emily Stewart, Chayce Taylor, Amanda Wasylyshyn. Assistant Coach – Tony Pickrell. Officials – Aaron Thompson. West Kelowna — Josh Carefoot, Kaelyn Hamanishi, Breanna O’Flynn, Kalina Slamka, Victoria VanEvery, Mari Weill. Assistant Coach – Riley Pickrell, Tina Slamka. Officials – Darrel Desjardin. Winfield — Athletes – Kylie Brown, Jessye Large, Athena MacLeod. Head Coach — Todd McMillan.
Kelowna — Isaac Athans, Devin Blaser, Haillie Jenkins, William Little, Jaxon Slaney, Nicholas Tonogal. Assistant Coach – Trevor Haaheim. West Kelowna – Amy Jorgenson.
Kelowna — Carter Fortney, Connor Hobbs, Michelle Kraetzer, Tristian Lee, Grayson McKinnon. West Kelowna — Officials – Adam Elliot.
Kelowna — Athletes – Jarvis Jurome, Jordan Macdonald, Courtney Macdonald, Ainsley Macdonald, Austin Wright. Head Coach – Paul Passek. Officials – Caroline Wargniez. Winfield — Athlete – Mitchell Steven. Big White — Athletes – Cole Isfan, Adam Isfan.
Kelowna — Athletes – Dylan Baliski, Jack Graves, Sally Haaheim, Jacob Rubuliak, Liam Smith. Heat Coach – Nancy Goplen. Officials – Mike Action, Chris Rubuliak.