Athletes from Vancouver Island dominated the medal standings, bringing home the most medals from any other zone in the province during the B.C. Summer Games last week.
In total, Vancouver Island-Central Coast (zone 6) won 171 medals — 65 gold, 48 silver and 58 bronze — the most out of seven other zones from around the province at the Games in Abbotsford between July 21 to 24.
Thirteen-year-old Victoria resident Laura Rincon brought home gold in the 100 metre breaststroke and silver in the 200-metre breaststroke.
“I was really happy. It's a really big meet and I was really excited to be able to win some medals for my zone. I was really proud of myself,” said Rincon, a St. Andrew's Regional High School student and athlete with Pacific Coast Swimming.
“I wanted to touch the wall first because I knew at the end it would be worth it. I really put everything I had into it.”
Rincon also brought home gold, alongside teammates Malia Prystupa, Mareya Valeva, and Amber Crack, in the 200-metre medley.
While the team had never swam together before (and only having one 45-minute practice prior to the competition), the girls were able to swim their hardest, despite the challenge of having a number of other races happening around them.
Crack, who swam freestyle, admits she was nervous off the block but cheers from her teammates helped inspire her.
“It gave me a lot of energy. As the third person touched the wall and I was about to dive in, we were in first place. It was really up to me to get us going and win,” said the 13-year-old Victoria resident.
Rincon and Crack weren't the only ones to top the podium.
Victoria's Emma Glawson helped lift her softball team to a gold medal win as well.
“This win was special to me because this was the first championship that I went to that had other sports in it and all these different teams that were there,” said the 15-year-old outfielder. “It was amazing. With all the different athletes, it almost felt like the Olympics to me.”
The trio agreed attending the B.C. Games was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in a multi-sport competition and meet athletes from different sports — one they will cherish forever.
Up next, Rincon and Crack have set lofty goals for themselves. Rincon will be competing at nationals in Calgary, while Crack hopes to one day swim for Team Canada at the Olympics.
Other athletes who won medals include Cameron Wallace and Hannah Stevens, who picked up gold in the boys/girls 420 sailing category.
The B.C. Summer Games are a biennial celebration of sport and community, bringing together more than 3,600 athletes to compete in 18 sports, including baseball, basketball, equestrian, lacrosse, synchronized swimming, triathlon, volleyball and wrestling. For the full results visit bcgames.org.