By Nicole Tigchelaar
Six skiers from the Red Mountain Racers will be heading to the 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission this February.
Two RMR girls and four boys qualified for the Kootenay Zone team which is made up of 10 boys and 10 girls from the Whitewater, Fernie, Kimberly, Windermere, and Red Mountain ski clubs.
Kaysa Panke, Samantha Gaul, Orion Humpherys, Gavin Patterson, Matthias Hoffmann, and Logan Merringer will carry the colours of RMR and Rossland to the Games.
“We’ve been able to field a big team this year,” said RMR head coach Phil Patterson.
Dylan Henderson from Whitewater will be head coach of the zone team and will be assisted by Sam French from Red Mountain.
The Games, held from Feb. 20–23, will include participants from across B.C. in 18 sports. Most of the competitions will take place in Mission with some events in Abbotsford, the Township of Langley, Pitt Meadows, Hemlock and Whistler.
The alpine events feature racers 13-14 years old, the youngest group of carded racers in the national ski racing system. Three different disciplines are part of the BC Winter Games: giant slalom; slalom; and ski cross.
Notable BC Games alumni who have gone on to compete internationally include three-time Olympian and multiple World Cup champion Rob Boyd (1980 BC Winter Games), 2010 Olympian and three-time World Cup champion Britt Janyk.
“The exciting thing for me,” said Humpherys, “is that I get to be on the same team as kids I’m normally competing against. I may also get to see my cousin racing in the nordic events.”
In fact, these Games are host to a multitude of sports not typically associated with winter, including archery, badminton, basketball, gymnastics and judo.
To see the various activities of the athletes during the Games, check out Global TV, one of the Games’ corporate partners, who will be doing daily, on-site coverage of the events.