Athletes from the Kootenays returned from the B.C. Special Olympic Games in Kamloops with 18 gold, six silver, and 10 bronze medals.
Coach for the Kootenay Alpine Ski Team Misty Pagliaro said the team had an impressive showing.
“Our local team dominated the winter sports, we always do. I’m very proud of everybody’s accomplishments,” said Pagliaro. “There were many personal best times and we represented our area phenomenally.”
Zone one includes both the East and West Kootenay, with athletes coming from Cranbrook, Kimberley, Creston, Castlegar, Trail and Golden.
Pagliaro said a total of 27 athletes took part in the games to represent Zone One.
Pagliaro was the head coach for the local skiers, and some of team’s winners are:
- Cross-Country Skiing:
- Layne Benoit: 2 Gold, 1 Bronze
- Jessica Klassen: 2 Gold, 1 Bronze
- Daryl Mayer: 2 Gold, 1 Bronze
- Alpine Skiing:
- Kendall Salanski: 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze
- Jesse Jensen: 3 Gold
- Erin Thom: 1 Gold, 2 Silver
Pagliaro said she is proud of the performance put on by the Kootenay athletes.
“You give so much to the athletes, but they give so much more back,” said Pagliaro. “They truly appreciate everything you do for them. It’s the most rewarding volunteer position I’ve ever had.”
The B.C. Special Olympic Games serve as a qualifying event to choose competitors to represent Team B.C. in the National games, set for Calgary next year.