Four young speed skaters from the Saanich Peninsula are off to the BC Winter Games in Kamloops this week, following a busy season on the ice here — and further afield.
The Games start on Feb. 22 and the Peninsula Speed Skating Club is sending athletes Kieran and Kyle Brown, Peyton Stonehouse-Smith and Tori Kalyniuk. Local coach Kelly Ball will accompany them, along with a pair of skaters from the Esquimalt club, Finn Fairburn and Colin Mathews.
The News Review caught up with one of the skaters, Tori Kalyniuk, at a recent practice. She has been doing well on the short track this season and added to her repertoire this season when she and Stonehouse-Smith went to long-time coach and former national athlete Brenda Hennigar to learn the long track discipline.
Shortly before this weekend’s Games, Kaliniuk traveled to Quebec City to participate in the national age class championships.
“Team BC was a good team this year and it was a new experience,” she said. “I just started skating long track this year … I’ve never been at that level for skating before and I think it went really well.”
Kalyniuk competed in the 500 metre, 1500m, 3000m mass start and a 300m mass start, as well as a team pursuit event.
“I came in there as probably one of the newest skaters, if not the newest to long track,” she said. “It was amazing to see how I did.”
While she didn’t reach the podium at the age class nationals, Kalyniuk and her coach both said her progress has been exceptional and Kalyniuk plans to stick with skating and hopes to improve.
This weekend, it’s the short track events in Kamloops at the Winter Games. Kalyniuk and her teammates have been working hard in that discipline and are hoping to do well and represent the Island among their B.C. counterparts.
Following the Games, Kalyniuk said they’ll all be off to the B.C. Short Track Provincial championship.
Her work doesn’t quite end there. Kalyniuk also competes in high-level cycling in the Greater Victoria area.
In Friday’s edition:
Sidney wheelchair basketball athlete Desiree Young talks about her first BC Winter Games, coming up Feb. 22.