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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Do you know someone who should not be driving?

We are currently living about 10 years longer than our ability to drive safely.

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: Time to slow down to speed up

In a society where we learn (are forced?) to multitask like crazy

A COVID-19 exposure has been reported at Shawnigan Lake School. (Citizen file photo)
UPDATED: Island Health reports COVID-19 exposure at Shawnigan Lake School

Shawnigan Lake School has been added to the list of schools in… Continue reading

Peas are great to grow in the garden, but a trellis for them in an A frame shape will offer more portability and wind resistance. (Citizen file)
Mary Lowther column: Making a foldable pea trellis on winter agenda

My previous methods required starting anew every spring

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Books open up a world of discovery

We try to eat dinner as a family every night. It happens… Continue reading

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read