Cowichan Valley athletes helped Team BC come home from the 2017 Canada Summer Games with a record 146 medals.
Four of the six Valley athletes who competed in Winnipeg combined to claim nine medals — four gold, three silver and two bronze — as Team BC finished second in the medal standings behind Team Ontario and brought home its most medals ever from a Canada Summer Games.
“Our Team BC athletes not only impressed on the field of play with a record setting medal count, they were also true ambassadors and representatives of British Columbia,” Team BC chef de mission Rob Needham said. “Winnipeg promised us the hottest summer in half a century and delivered a Games that sizzled. From exceptional venues to first rate entertainment, our entire team thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
Cowichan Bay triathlete Desirae Ridenour led the way among Valley competitors with three gold medals. Her cousin, rower Alex Ridenour of Duncan, brought home one gold and one silver. Youbou swimmer Mikyla Carlow and Mill Bay golfer Tristan Mandur each collected one silver and one bronze.
Also representing the Cowichan Valley in Winnipeg were thrower Jesse Brockway and road cyclist Alex Amiri, both of whom managed top-10 results. Duncan Stingrays coach Leanne Sirup attended the Games as coach of the B.C. swim team, which accounted for 52 medals.
They were among 354 athletes, 52 coaches, 27 managers and technical support staff, and 22 mission staff who represented B.C. at the Games which wrapped up on Sunday.
Desirae Ridenour won gold in the individual female triathlon on July 31 — B.C.’s first gold of the Games, then teamed with Victoria sisters Hannah and Holly Henry to win the female relay on Aug. 3, and with Hannah Henry and Brock Hoel to win the mixed relay on Aug. 4.
Alex Ridenour and his teammates won gold in the four along with teammates Travis Gronsdahl, Liam Keane and Isaac Donaldson, all of Victoria, on the morning of Aug. 4. Later that same morning, Ridenour also helped B.C. to silver in the eight.
Carlow picked up a silver in her last race of the games, the Special Olympics female 50m freestyle last Friday (Aug. 11), placing second in her heat that morning, then second again in the final that evening. Carlow won her first medal of the Games, a bronze, in the 100m freestyle on Aug. 8, and also placed fifth in the 50m breaststroke on Aug. 8 and 100m backstroke on Aug. 9, and sixth in the 50m backstroke on Aug. 10.
Mandur finished with two medals in the golf competition: a bronze from the individual competition and a silver in the team competition. He improved his standing steadily over the four rounds of play to end up with a final score of 285 (71-74-71-70), four shots back of the gold. The gold and silver individual medals were both won by golfers from Quebec, who also prevailed in the team competition. B.C. took silver, just six shots back, with Alberta a distant third.
Amiri competed in three events last week, his best result an eighth in the road race last Thursday. He also finished 11th in the criterium on Saturday and 14th in the individual time trial last Tuesday.
Brockway competed in the first week of the Games, finishing fourth in the para female discus on July 31, and fifth in shot put on Aug. 4.