Transparency, dedication sum up B.C.’s most inspirational sports stories of 2019

BLACK PRESS YEAR IN REVIEW

Transparency, dedication sum up B.C.’s most inspirational sports stories of 2019

B.C. athletes proved to be leaders on the national and international stage despite current and past physical, mental challenges

This story is part of Black Press Media’s 2019 Year in Review. Celebrate the end of a decade by taking a look back through our top stories by clicking here.

In 2019, British Columbian athletes proved that obstacles could be surmounted with a certain level of mental toughness.

Oftentimes, transparency and openness of one’s sport is what provide’s that level of mental toughness for athletes.

To round out the year, Black Press Media took a look back at athletes – of all ages – who overcame barriers and hardship with the same level of passion and resilience they bring to their sport.

These are the most inspirational sports stories from around the province in 2019:

Classical music and kickboxing help woman overcome learning disorders

Lindsey Christian-Hack started taking lessons in violin and kickboxing at the age of 7. The activities were picked by her mother – not out of want to expand her horizons, but to help Lindsey cope with her several learning disabilities. The Salmon Arm resident is now offering private lessons in two very different fields. Read more >

Parksville swimmer shatters four world records

Para swimmer Nicholas Bennett, 16, continued to make a strong case for a spot on Team Canada for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, after shattering four world short-course records at the International de Noel meet in Montreal. Read more >

Tofino’s Mathea Dempfle-Olin with historic medal for Canada

Tofino’s 16-year-old sensation Mathea Dempfle-Olin claimed bronze in the women’s longboard competition, which took place at the world-renowned point break of Punta Rocas, south of Lima’s city centre in Punta Negra.

“At the moment I’m definitely a little bit bummed,” Olin said, fighting back tears. “But I think when I go home and look at the big picture, I’ll be pretty happy.” Read more >

Disabled athletes paddle and bike from Revelstoke to Nelson

Two athletes paddled and biked from Revelstoke to Nelson with a catch: they have severe spinal cord injuries and cannot walk.

“I can’t make it through one Netflix show. I’d rather be outside,” said Ethan Krueger, one of the athletes participating. Ethan Krueger along with Tanelle Bolt left Revelstoke on July 2, with a goal of reaching Nelson in 10 days. Read more >

Ultramarathon runner Carter Hawke follows in father’s footsteps

When Carter Hawke was 15 years old, he would run for stretches alongside his dad, Ferg, as the elder Hawke completed the gruelling Badwater Ultramarathon – billed as the world’s most difficult footrace – in the blistering summer heat of Death Valley, Calif.

This year, the Semiahmoo Peninsula resident took home a third-place finish at the Whistler Alpine Meadows event. Read more >

Concussions end Trail’s Kyle Chernenkoff’s career, open doors behind the bench

Trail Smoke Eaters veteran defenceman Kyle Chernenkoff’s playing career came to an abrupt end this year, but the Smoke Eaters did all they could to help soften the blow. Read more >

Terrace Indigenous skater takes front page of US magazine

Gitxsan-Tsimshian member Teysean Angeline Henry, 15, was featured on the front cover of Native Hoop, a popular US magazine showcasing Indigenous success. Read more >

Whitecaps inform police of allegations against South Surrey coach after more players come forward

A number of formers players on Canada’s national women’s soccer program released details in April of abuse allegations against a Vancouver Whitecaps coach.

“We come forward 10 years later because: some of us didn’t know he was still coaching, and we all look back at our experience with Canada Soccer and the Vancouver Whitecaps and think the situation should have been handled differently,” a joint statement from 13 former members said. Read more >

The best of Canucks sports reporter Jason Botchford

He wasn’t an athlete but Jason Botchford was synonymous with the Vancouver Canucks. He died at the age of 48 and was widely known for his Canucks post-game reports, first called “The Provies,” then “The Athletties.”

His reporting provided edgy, insightful commentary and a unique, zany approach. Read more >

Trail’s Katie Yuris recieves BC Hockey Coach of the Year

Katie Yuris became just the second woman to win BC Hockey Coach of the Year, since its inception in 1979-80. She joins Christine Gardiner, who received the honour in 1996. She also joins 2012-13 recipient Ken Koshey and 1999 recipient Mike Mondin as the only Trail coaches awarded the honour. Read more >

Former hockey pro, Jim Lessard, recovering on and off the ice

Now a resident of Prince Rupert, Lessard had carved out a successful hockey career for himself, playing across Canada and the United States. When an injury ended his career, however, Lessard fell into a spiral that took him the last 20 years to emerge from. Read more >

Olympic skier from Nanaimo suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Allison Forsyth, who competed in the 2002 Winter Games, sought to become the representative plaintiff of a certified class of former elite skiers who claim they were psychologically, physically and sexually assaulted, harassed and abused by their coach, Bertrand Charest, while they were members of the Canada’s national junior skiing team. Read more >

NHL goaltender Carey Price comforts young fan who lost mom to cancer

The family of a young boy who lost his mom to cancer said words cannot described their gratitude for the kindness shown by Montreal Canadiens netminder and Anahim Lake’s Carey Price after an emotional meeting between the two earlier this year. Read more >

NHL honours Aldergrove athlete and grandmother’s ‘fight’ against cancer in special match

Born and raised in Aldergrove, Las Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Shea Theodore battled the San Jose Sharks in a special “Hockey Fights Cancer” match.

Theodore, now a survivor, continues to curb the stigma surrounding men’s testicular health both on and off the ice. Along the way, he’s been accompanied in the fight against cancer by another member of his family, his grandmother Kay Darlington. Read more >

Going by electric car: Revelstoke adventurer does 100 summits without fossil fuels

In 2006, Greg Hill set a world record of 50,000 ft in 24 hours. In 2010 he climbed and skied 2 million vertical ft in a year. In 2014, he did 330,000 ft in a month.

But this year included a special accomplishment to add to Hill’s growing list: adventuring sustainably.

“If I was just to have done ten summits, it’s like ‘oh, maybe he just got lucky,’ but it you do 100 ventures it’s proof that it works,” Hill said. Read more >


@kieranroconnor
kieran.oconnor@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Best of 2019

Just Posted

Smaller egg farmers find themselves in a David and Goliath situation when it comes to major producers and chain-grocery store shelf space. (Citizen file)
Vancouver Island egg producer cries foul over ‘Island’ label

Egg farmer frustrated with regulations allowing mainland-laid eggs to be labelled ‘Island’

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. file photo, Pacific Wild
Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Industry and conservationists weigh in how much catch should be allowed as DFO decision coming soon

Greater Victoria is defying national and provincial employment trends as the unemployment rate in December dropped to 5.8 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
Dropping unemployment rate in Greater Victoria defies national and provincial picture

Broader trends such as high youth unemployment are solidifying

Metchosin Mayor John Ranns (Black Press Media file photo)
Charity’s plan to flip tax-exempt greenspace to development angers Metchosin mayor

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria tight-lipped on land plans

North Cowichan Mayor Al SIebring helps Chris Istace to put up a tent at the site of one of the homeless camps installed in 2020. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Editorial: We’re on the right path to address homelessness

Housing first model can only help improve the situation

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Qualicum Beach council wants dogs on a leash when at the town’s cemetery. (Google Map)
Qualicum Beach council wants dogs leashed if owners are visiting town cemetery

Signage to be posted at entrance after dog spotted chewing decorations at children’s grave

Air conditioning units atop The Summit at Quadra Village have been the source of a hum that made life at home miserable in summer for some nearby residents. The Capital Regional Hospital Board is investing in more technology to help remedy the problem. (Photo dHK Architects)
Work to resolve The Summit hum in Victoria continues through winter

Neighbours of Hillside Avenue care facility won’t know until spring whether solutions work

A $100,000 contribution by the BC Marine Parks Forever Society will expand Octopus Island Provincial Park on the northeast side of Quadra Island. BC Parks photo
New island added to Octopus Islands Marine Park

Province acquires more land for protected Island chain in the Campbell River area

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Most Read