Campbell River’s Kelsey Painter was part of a strong Team BC contingent that took home five medals in Judo at the Canada Winter Games yesterday in Prince George.
The tatami was swarming with B.C. athletes – they took home two silver and three bronze medals.
Earning silver were: Kelsey Painter (14, Campbell River) in the +78kg event and Tavis Jamieson (18, Delta) in the -100kg.
Bronze medals went to: Jeff Swadden (18, Abbotsford) in +100kg, Braxton Clark, 18, in the -90kg, and Megan Hanks (17, Kamloops) in the -78kg category.
Painter’s silver medal in judo is a better result than she could have imagined. She made it into the finals as one of the youngest competitors. At just 14 years of age, Painter just earned her blue belt prior to the Games, which qualified her for the competition.
In the final she went up against a world champion bronze medalist and earned the right to take home the silver for B.C.
“I came into these Games with the intention of doing my best, I honestly did not think I would place,” she said. “I wanted to get out there and show that I have earned my title and my belt and prove that I am good enough to be there.”
Painter drew inspiration from her teammates’ competitions and strong results.
“I saw everyone else just fight their hardest and that’s what I wanted to do,” she said. “I had never fought my opponent before and she is just so strong and is a great fighter. I was so happy to have the experience and one of my goals was to be able to last with her and give her a good fight. I know I did that and even though I got the silver, it feels like a win for me.”
Campbell River Judo Club teammate Daniel Harvey returned with a bronze medal in the male team competition after Team BC defeated Manitoba 330-220 in the third-place match Saturday.
Brett Stapley, one of two Campbell River athletes skating for Team BC’s hockey teams, fell one game short of the medal round in the men’s hockey tournament with a 6-3 loss to Quebec Thursday night.
Stapley assisted on a goal by Justin Almeida that gave Team BC a brief 2-0 lead at 13:05 of the opening period, but Quebec scored 35 seconds later and added four unanswered goals in the second to take control. Stapley finished the tourney with two assists.
His cousin, Olivia Camryn Knowles, had three assists as the women’s hockey team finished sixth in the tournament.