Salmon Arm and the Shuswap brought home an abundance of medals from the 55+ Games this year, from both the Canada and B.C. events.
Held in Kamloops this year, the Canada 55+ Games in late August included competitors from across the country competing in 26 sports. It was the first time the Games have been held in B.C. since they began in 1996.
In Women’s Soccer – the first time the sport has been part of the Canada 55+Games – four teams were competing, all from B.C.
Okanagan Ole, made up of players from Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Brentwood Bay, brought home a silver medal.
The team was narrowly defeated in the final by BC Reign, a team they’d tied in round-robin play. Okanagan Ole beat the Kamloops and Island contenders on the way to the gold-medal game.
In Men’s Hockey, the Shuswap fielded two teams, one in the 55-59 category and the other in 60-64.
Wooden Sticks, the Shuswap team in the younger category, made it to the medal round, claiming bronze. The three other teams in the division were from Ontario, the Northwest Territories and Kelowna. The Shuswap team faced the Northwest Territories in the bronze medal game, playing their best game of the competition.
“The vibe in our dressing room was excellent, which was really important for making for a fun, memorable week,” said team organizer Steve Rodwell.
In the BC 55+ Games in Victoria in September, Salmon Arm’s Rudi Ingenhorst earned a bucketful of medals in the pool – four golds and one silver.
Ingenhorst won gold in two different age categories. Two were in men’s 70-74 100-metre backstroke and 25-m butterfly, while two golds and one silver were in the 65-69 division: golds in 25m backstroke and 50m backstroke, with silver in the 100-m individual medley.
Hellen Byron from Salmon Arm brought home a triple crown of sorts – a gold and two silvers in track and field, the 80 to 84 category.
Byron strode her way to gold in the 3000-metre power walk and earned silver in both the weight throw and the shot put.
Duncan Banks took gold in singles snooker, the 65-74 category.
Two Salmon Arm sisters brought home two medals apiece in cribbage.
Linda Brede and Cheryl Petersen won gold in Flight B after playing 12 games of crib the first day, nine the second and three the final day, all within their flight. Then the three golds from each flight faced off and the Salmon Arm pair earned silver.
The secret to their success? “We wore our lucky pants,” laughed Petersen.
Brede and Peterson play crib once a week in the winter at 5th Avenue Seniors Centre, also the venue where medal winners Ralph Owens and Jarvis Wice play table tennis.
Owens, 91 in November, won bronze in the 80-plus recreational singles category as well as receiving an award for being the oldest participant in table tennis.
Wice took silver in competitive men’s singles, 75-79. He said it’s wonderful to have role models like Ralph Owens at the centre where fitness and a healthy lifestyle for seniors is the focus.
In (court) tennis, Salmon Arm’s Sue Ford and Indira Greenhough earned silver in the women’s 70-74 doubles.
From Chase, it was the Drummond/Mindel duo who took silver in women’s 55-59 doubles.
Pat Hutchins from Salmon Arm brought home three bronze medals in cycling in the 75-79 competitive division. The events were the time trial, road race and hill climb.
Karen ‘KP’ Packalen from Blind Bay earned bronze for women’s Flight A low gross.
In the dragon boating event, the Kamloops Kids took silver, a team which included Nancy Baillie from Magna Bay, as well as Cindy Elsner and Monique Krahn from Sicamous.
The 2023 BC 55+Games will be held in Abbotsford, Aug. 22-26. The Canada 55+Games are generally held every two years.
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