The first few days of the 2019 Pan American Games yielded two podium finishes for athletes from the Cowichan Valley.
Pat Kay and Desirae Ridenour have both won silver medals at the Games in Peru, Kay’s coming in the men’s rugby sevens tournament, which finished Sunday, and Ridenour’s in the triathlon mixed relay, which took place on Monday.
Kay and the Canadian men’s rugby sevens team got off to a great start in pool play, beating Uruguay on Friday and Jamaica on Saturday, by identical 31-0 scores, before losing to Argentina 12-7 later on Saturday. The Canadians beat Brazil 33-5 in their semifinal on Sunday morning, then lost again to Argentina in a rematch in the gold-medal game on Sunday evening.
Although the Canadian men fell short of defending their gold from the 2015 Pan Am Games, the Canadian women matched their 2015 result with another gold, beating the U.S. 24-10 in their final.
Ridenour was Canada’s first athlete on the course in the mixed relay on Monday, finishing her leg in 20:41, nine seconds back of Brazil’s first racer. Canada finished the race 17 seconds back of Brazil with a time of 1:20:51, six seconds ahead of third-place Mexico.
Faith Knelson from Ladysmith, a former student at Duncan’s Queen of Angels School, is set to compete in swimming, which starts on Aug. 6.