The Thompson-Okanagan team cleaned up at the 2002 B.C. Winter Games this past weekend at Williams Lake, winning a total of 116 medals; 42 gold, 43 silver and 25 bronze. The Cariboo North-East Team was the runner up with 84 medals (35 gold, 24 silver, 25 bronze), followed by the Vancouver Island-Central Coast squad with 79 (20 gold, 26 silver, 33 bronze).
The Zone 5 team from the Vancouver-Squamish region, was sixth out of eight teams with 50 medals (18 gold, 13 silver, 19 bronze).
Almost 1,600 athletes took part in the Games from around the province, representing their zones in 23 different sports. The majority of athletes were under 16 years of age, and all were under the age of 18.
Three Whistler skiers accompanied the alpine team, plus seven other participants who ski for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. One Whistler gymnast took part, as did a couple of local cross-country skiers.
There were three alpine events; the slalom, giant slalom and "dual glalom" team event which combines K1 skiers (age 11 and 12) with disabled skiers, coaches, and officials.
"The 2002 Williams Lake B.C. Winter Games proved to be a very exciting experience for our teams," says K1 head coach Sead Causevic. "We were exposed to the best of the rest of the province and the kids got a chance to meet other hard working athletes from many sports and many parts of the province."
In the slalom on Friday, Feb. 22, Grouse Mountains Georgina Simmerling won the gold medal for Zone 5. For Whistler, Deborah Bayliss was sixth. For the WMSC, Christina Disler, Carolyn Caldwell, Katrina Dekur and Sarah Marshall were seventh, ninth, 10th and 13 th out of 41 racers.
In the mens slalom, Whistlers Morgan Pridy missed the podium by 0.16 seconds to finish fourth out of a field of 45 racers. North Jones was 11 th , Kieran Cormack 20 th , and Scott Harrison was 26 th for the WMSC.
In the giant slalom, WMSC racer Jennifer Mah, who was representing the Fraser Valley at Williams Lake, won the silver medal. Georgina Simmerling was fourth for Zone 5.
Club skiers Alison Matasi, Katrina Dekur, Christina Disler, and Sarah Marshall were sixth, seventh, eighth and 11 th overall.
In the mens GS, Morgan Pridy once again had to settle for fourth place by 0.16 seconds. For the WMSC, Kieran Cormack was sixth, North Jones 14 th , and Scott Harrison 19 th .
In the dual glalom, the 16 member Zone 5 team won the overall bronze medal.
Two locals participated in the four by two kilometre relay in cross-country skiing. Sydney Van Loon of Pemberton was part of a team that finished eighth, and Whistlers Tobi Henderson was part of a team that ended the day in ninth.
In gymnastics, Whistlers Alix Rusimovich came 22 nd out of over 40 competitors to help the Vancouver-Squamish zone finish in fourth place overall.
Rusimovich is the Whistler Gymnastics Clubs first Level 3 Tryo competitor, and the first club member ever to qualify for the B.C. Winter Games.