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

Commercial Street and other areas of Nanaimo’s downtown are now part of a new business improvement area following a petition-against process this spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: BIA process wasn’t fair to small business

Mom-and-pop shops will be challenged to pay the levy during hard times, says letter writer

Nanaimo RCMP report that a number of scams, many of them familiar, have recently resurfaced in Nanaimo and cost victims thousands of dollars. (File photo)
Nanaimo man scammed after lending money and receiving fake gold jewelry in return

RCMP provide details of several recent scams to warn the public

A memorial to former Abbotsford and RCMP police officer Shinder Kirk in Cedar, B.C. Kirk died in a car accident on Cedar Road in December 2018. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Trial begins in Nanaimo for man involved in car crash that killed retired police sergeant

RCMP accident reconstructionist takes stand in trial of Conrad Nikolaus Wetten

Next week Nanaimo singer Laura Kelsey is releasing her new single A Foolish Thing and its accompanying music video. (Video still courtesy Greg Nuspel)
Nanaimo singer joined by wolf, dancers in new music video

‘A Foolish Thing’ is Laura Kelsey’s first professionally made single in seven years

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

This payphone sits just east of TD Bank in Parksville, on Harrison Avenue. (Emily Vance photo)
Last call approaches for Vancouver Island payphones?

Some payphones don’t get used for days as mobile phones diminishing need

Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
Flower power: COVID restrictions fuel bloom boom on Vancouver Island’

More people seeking flowers to add colour, says Sooke landscaper

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Most Read