BC Games first step for many London-bound athletes

Olympic medal contender Brent Hayden realized his own potential at the BC Summer Games

When the Olympic and Paralympic Games begin in London, there are a number of Canadian athletes who will remember their first multi-sport experience at a BC Games.

Twenty-four athletes on the Canadian Olympic team started their journey to London with a trip to the BC Games including 2008 Olympic gold medallist Carol Huynh (Wrestling), and recent Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Cycling). As part of the athlete development pathway, the BC Games are a first multi-sport experience for young athletes that lead towards provincial and national teams and ultimately the Olympic or Paralympic Games. The BC Games are part of a strong provincial sport system that provides an outstanding training environment and support services for high-performance athletes. Forty per cent of the Canadian Olympic team live or train in B.C.

Shot-putter Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops is one of Canada’s great medal hopes at the 2012 Olympic Games. He is a shining example of a B.C. athlete who has developed to international success with support through all the stages of the athlete pathway. Involved at a young age with the Kamloops Track and Field Club, he represented the Thompson-Okanagan Zone at the 1995 and 1996 BC Summer Games. Success as part of Team BC at the 2001 Canada Games was next before winning gold for Canada at the 2007 and 2010 Pan American Games. All eyes are on this BC Games alumnus to better his fourth place finish from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Swimmer Brent Hayden of Mission is another medal contender in London. Brent competed at the 1998 BC Summer Games and reflected, “The BC Summer Games was the point in my career when I realized that I had the potential to go further. It was soon after that that I decided to switch from being a summer swimmer to training all year round.  It is clear that I wouldn’t have noticed my own potential without the BC Summer Games.”

The full Paralympic team will be named later this summer but former BC Games athletes Bo Hedges of Fort St. John (Wheelchair Basketball) and Adam Rahier of Powell River (Swimming) will be part of the team.

Over 2,300 athletes between the ages of 10 and 18 will be at the 2012 BC Summer Games, which kick off just one week prior to the start of the Olympics. It is an inspiring experience that will ignite the dreams of many young athletes to pursue their sport to the highest level.

A veteran of the Canadian Women’s Soccer team, Karina LeBlanc from Maple Ridge remembered, “It was an amazing experience because I did dream of one day being at the Olympic Games and it was the closest thing for me to it, so it made me want to be there that much more!”

Watch for the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians at the 2012 BC Summer Games, July 19-22. See the complete list of BC Games alumni heading to London at www.bcgames.org

Just Posted

UPDATE: Wind warning has ended for Metro Vancouver

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read