Silver, gold and bronze – Team B.C. athletes shone off and on the podium at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.
Sunday (March 5) marked the end of the two-week competition, which saw nearly 3,600 athletes compete in a variety of sports; the Team B.C. contingent included 350 athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff.
With the closing ceremonies held at 3:30 p.m. Atlantic Time Sunday, Team B.C. are bringing home a record 103 medals, with 46 of those gold medals.
The previous highs for B.C. were 30 gold medals in Red Deer in 2019 and 88 total medals at the 2011 Games in Halifax and the 2015 Games in Prince George.
British Columbia finished third overall in the national competition, behind Ontario (108 total medals, 32 gold) and Quebec (151 total medals, 57 gold).
The female hockey contest was a highlight of the Games, with Team B.C. winning 3-0 over Nova Scotia for the gold in Sunday play.
More than two dozen athletes from Surrey, Delta and White Rock competed in the Team B.C. contingent, with Delta’s Rebecca Noble, 16, representing with the rest of the B.C. female hockey team.
White Rock’s own Adrian Wong, 14, won two medals in fencing – a silver for male foil, and a gold with Team B.C. for the Team Mix competition, which included Surrey’s Finn Liu, 16.
“It feels nice – just coming here to win anything at all is great,” Wong said on Sunday, shortly before closing ceremonies.
He credits his brother – and his parents’ taste sports – for how he got into fencing.
“It’s strategic… there’s multiple ways of defense – it requires you to think a lot – you can’t just do the same thing over and over again,” he said.
He enjoyed his first time in PEI, but noted how cold it is compared to the West Coast.
“It is very cold here!” Wong’s coach, Lynn Seguin, agreed.
“We’re very proud. It’s been a super experience,” she said.
During the mixed team event, “we went into not really knowing or understanding how it might play out,” she said, noting they’d never done it before, but still ended up with the gold medal.
“We were behind most of the match, but they just kept going and stayed positive. It was really neat to see – they were true professionals,” Seguin said.
Another Delta athlete, Tasha Lai, 14, won gold in the dance pre-novice mix with partner Mickey Becker-Pos, 17, while Surrey’s Neil Imada, 18, was on Team B.C.’s curling squad, which won silver.
Surrey’s Lowan Le Bris, 14, also won silver in the individual 60 kilogram male Judo event, as well as the bronze medal for the Team B.C. Judo event, which included Delta’s Owen Hou, 15.
Team B.C. – featuring Surrey’s Lila Bulka and Delta’s Mackenzie Grant – also brought home a bronze in the female gymnastics artistic team event, while Team B.C.’s male hockey squad – featuring Surrey’s Savin Virk, Jack Bakker, Grant Reid and Delta’s Will Sharpe – came in fourth overall.
Surrey’s Barnett Liu and Delta’s Ryan Bolton also came in fourth in the short track team relay (male) speed skating event.
Other highlights include Delta’s Grace Wang, who placed fourth in female badminton singles, while Surrey’s Gurbaksh Saini tied for fifth in the male badminton singles event.