Surrey, BC – The 2012 Surrey BC Summer Games came to a close Sunday after the final medals were awarded and the athletes were sent home having had an experience many of them will remember as one of the most important in their lives.
Chanell Botsis, 14, of Coquitlam took home more than the three Gold medals she won in Athletics. She was presented with the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence at Sunday’s closing ceremony. Botsis set a new BC Games record in Javelin with her throw of 43.06 m, shattering the old record of 41.23m. She also won Gold in Discus and Javelin. The straight “A” student is a member of Richmond’s Kajaks Track and Field Club, and came to her first Games looking for a podium finish, she said, but also looking to perform her personal best. She credited her mom and coaches as the biggest influences on her life and her athletic success.
“These Games saw a number of records fall as BC’s best came together,” said BC Games President and CEO Kelly Mann. “That shows that BC’s investment in sport is paying off. We are seeing an escalation in skills in several sports, and many of the young people who competed here are well on their way to becoming provincial level athletes.”
“I firmly believe that many of the stars produced by these Summer Games in Surrey will one day compete for our country.”
Canadian rowers have a history of being at the top of the podium on the world stage, and if results from the past three days at the Delta-Deas Rowing Club are any indication the future is bright for BC rowers to follow in their footsteps. Zone 6 Vancouver Island-Central Coast dominated on the water, with every one of the 11 athletes on the team earning a medal.
Teams from the host Zone 3 Fraser Valley won several of their final match-ups Sunday. The boys rugby, beach volleyball, box lacrosse and field lacrosse teams all won Gold as did the girls rugby, basketball, soccer and softball teams. The girls of Zone 5 Vancouver-Squamish prevailed over Fraser Valley in two of the most exciting match-ups of the Games. They took the Gold in volleyball and in line hockey.
Individually, there were a number of standouts over the three days of the Games. Swimmer Justin Howe, 14, of Victoria had the largest haul of medals for the boys on his Zone 6 Vancouver Island-Central Coast team, going home with three Golds, three Silvers and one Bronze. His performance bodes well for the upcoming Age Group Nationals he will be attending. Burnaby’s Jemal Reta of Zone 4 Fraser River-Delta set a new BC Games record for the men’s 2000m steeplechase. He also holds the 1500m steeplechase Games record.
Parents came from around the province to support, congratulate and console their children. They stood out in the crowds of spectators as they waved their team’s colours and cheered on the youngsters from the sidelines. Parents’ contributions to an athlete’s success often go unnoticed, but all would agree that having the opportunity to watch their child compete at a BC Games is a reward like no other. Many also expressed their appreciation for the long hours put in by the 3,000 volunteers who helped make the Surrey Games a success.
The BC Games cauldron will be lit again in 2014 in Mission for the BC Winter Games and in Nanaimo for the BC Summer Games.