Fourteen Burnaby athletes are leaving behind the snowy Lower Mainland for snowy Red Deer this week for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which open on Friday.
Competition will take place in 21 sports against teams from Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. Over half of Team B.C.’s 251 athletes and coaches bring with them valuable experience from previous B.C. Winter or B.C. Summer Games.
The Burnaby contingent heading to Alberta cover nine different events. Those going are: Troy Chong (curling); Samantha Spencer, Ainsley Spencer (speed skating); Patrina Hui, Kenny Jiang (table tennis); Brendan Giang, Kiera Kam, Brendan Wong, Hailey Yu (figure skating); Sasha Nixon (artistic swimming); Declan McLean (gymnastics); Maximus Joe (judo); Andy Lin (cross country skiing); Taylor Nellis (alpine skiing). ). Also heading east to support the athletes are coach Gabriela Sofia De Sousa (judo), manager Ariana VanDerStarre (speed skating), and participant assistant Zhaokai Pang (figure skating). They will be joined by Team B.C. staff members Jennifer Scott (Chef de Mission) and Jennifer Falloon (mission staff).
Team BC finished third behind Quebec (141 medals) and Ontario (111 medals) at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George with 88 medals - 21 gold, 34 silver, and 33 bronze.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to lead a group of dedicated athletes, coaches and sport staff to the 2019 Canada Winter Games,” said Team B.C.’s Chef de Mission Jennifer Scott. “We have done all we can to prepare our team. Now it’s their turn to put all that practice into competition. I’m excited to watch our team perform at the Games.”
Many high-level athletes have launched their athletic careers through the B.C. Games and Team B.C. At the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 19 Team BC alumni were part of Team Canada.