It wasn’t just victory and glory that captured sports fans’ interest in 2016.
The most-clicked sports article of the year at www.nanaimobulletin.com was Serious injury spoils lacrosse victory, after senior B Nanaimo Timbermen player Shawn Swanson was checked from behind into the boards and broke a disc in his neck during a playoff game in Ladner. The community rallied to support his recovery, and a follow-up article, Senior B Timbermen win one for their teammate, published less than 48 hours later, was the ninth-most-read sports story of 2016.
The second-most-clicked sports article was a sad one – Nanaimo’s champion mountain bike racer dies, published May 10, the day Steve Smith died of injuries after crashing his dirt bike.
An obituary column, No one could ride a bike quite like Steve Smith was published following his celebration of life at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre later that month and was the year’s fifth-most-read sports story.
The year’s third-most-read sports article was Barsby, NDSS junior football teams will meet in B.C. final, published the night that the Islanders won their semifinal game to ensure an all-Nanaimo provincial final.
Fourth on the list was Nanaimo hosts its biggest track and field meet ever, published two days before the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships started at Rotary Bowl stadium.
Sixth was Raiders beat Broncos to start football season, published immediately following Nanaimo’s 37-14 win in its home opener at Caledonia Park.
High school basketball showed up seventh on the list with the article Wellington beats NDSS to win Island championship, published at the end of February following the Wildcats’ 64-50 victory over the Islanders in the senior AAA boys’ final at the Nanaimo District Secondary School gym.
More track and field showed up as the eighth-best-read sports story, Nanaimo youth wins 100, 200 at B.C. championships, after local sprinter Hassy Fashina-Bombata swept the marquee races at club provincials at Rotary Bowl.
The final article to crack the year’s top 10 was Nanaimo sport award finalists announced, which was published a couple of weeks before the Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards.