BC Games: road to the Olympics

When the Olympic and Paralympic Games begin in London, there are a number of athletes who will remember their experience at a BC Games

When the Olympic and Paralympic Games begin in London, there are a number of Canadian athletes who will remember their first multi-sport experience at a BC Games.

Twenty-four athletes on the Canadian Olympic team started their journey to London with a trip to the BC Games including 2008 Olympic gold medallist Carol Huynh (Wrestling), and recent Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Cycling). As part of the athlete development pathway, the BC Games are a first multi-sport experience for young athletes that lead towards provincial and national teams and ultimately the Olympic or Paralympic Games. The BC Games are part of a strong provincial sport system that provides an outstanding training environment and support services for high-performance athletes. Forty per cent of the Canadian Olympic team live or train in B.C.

Shot-putter Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops is one of Canada’s great medal hopes at the 2012 Olympic Games. He is a shining example of a B.C. athlete who has developed to international success. Involved at a young age with the Kamloops Track and Field Club, he represented the Thompson-Okanagan Zone at the 1995 and 1996 BC Summer Games.

Success as part of Team BC at the 2001 Canada Games was next before winning gold for Canada at the 2007 and 2010 Pan American Games. Swimmer Brent Hayden of Mission is another medal contender in London. Hayden competed at the 1998 BC Summer Games.

The full Paralympic team will be named later this summer but former BC Games athletes Bo Hedges of Fort St. John (Wheelchair Basketball) and Adam Rahier of Powell River (Swimming) will be part of the team.

Over 2,300 athletes between the ages of 10 and 18 will be at the 2012 BC Summer Games, which kick off one week prior to the Olympics.

Watch for the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians at the 2012 BC Summer Games, July 19-22.