Of the nine athletes from the South Cariboo who participated in the BC Summer Games, six of them have returned as medalists.
Liam Edle, Quincy Archie, Jackson Hooper and Aidan Moore won bronze with the Cariboo North East softball team. Jaden Knight won bronze in the javelin throw and Trinity Jensen won bronze in the canoe slalom.
“The medals are very heavy, shiny and made me feel proud to wear around my neck,” said Jensen. “I’d like to thank everybody who has supported me on my journey to the Summer Games.”
In the canoe-1,500-metres race, Jensen was in third place in one of her heats but ended up fourth overall, missing the finals narrowly.
The 14-year-old paddler also competed in the mixed four-person canoe, four-person kayak, C-1 500-metre, C-2 500-metre, mixed 500-metre, K-1 500-metre, C-1 200-metre, and the K-1 200-metre.
“My coach Dennis Wick has helped me paddle to the best of my abilities and I’d like to thank him for all of the time he has put into my training,” said Jensen of her technical skills coach.
She also added that Tish Diamond, her strength and conditioning coach in Canim Lake, is her “number one” fan and was thankful for everything Diamond has taught her.
“I was very, very proud of Trinity. She worked really hard and she had never done slalom before and it was in moving water so it was a new event for her. We didn’t have anywhere to experience that before we went to the games,” said Diamond, who has worked with Canim Lake’s young athletes for 17 years.
The young paddler trains with Wick at the 108 Lake two to four times a week as soon as the ice comes off the lake, usually doing 200 to 500-metre sprints or paddling around the lake in an hour.
Jensen also participated in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games as well. She is also still eligible to participate in the BC Games for a second and final time under the Train to Train program.
“She is going to get ready for the North American Indigenous Games in 2020 in Nova Scotia,” said Diamond.
As a whole, the South Cariboo contributed to three of the seven bronze medals the regional team were rewarded for their efforts. In total, the region won 34 medals – 14 gold and 13 silver in addition to the aforementioned bronze medals. Overall, the Cariboo North East team came in sixth on the table, in front of the Kootenays (16) and North West (13).
Two other people from the area joined the Cariboo North East team as assistant coaches, Terrance Hubick-Archie and Stephen Theodore-Jensen who assisted in canoe/kayak.
Hubick-Archie and Theodore-Jensen were part of the Canoe Kayak BC Association and were assistants coaches for different zones.
Diamond is hoping they will help coach kids in the Canim Lake community for the upcoming NAIGs in 2020.
“I really think Canim Lake Band do a great job making sure their community youth get opportunities to compete at this level and they really support them in any way they can,” said Diamond.