The 2020 BC Winter Games are just three weeks away, and a handful of Abbotsford athletes have been announced for the four-day event.
The Games occur in Fort St. John and, while they are known for action in the snow, the majority of local competitors will be suiting up indoors in the sports of gymnastics and judo.
The Abbotsford Judo Club has always had a strong presence at the BC Games and 2020 is no different, as athletes Kaleb Christen, Katrina Da Silva, Jonathan Dydzuk, Odin Ellingson, Asher Fershau, Carter Harris, Zachary Harris, Jordyn McRory, Lola Paller, Kassidy Smith, Nathan Thiel, Hannah Vint-Valsson and Gavin Whitmore will all be heading north. Abbotsford will also be represented by judo head coach Karissa Comeau and assistant coaches Brayden Cryer and Payton Harris. Comeau, Cryer and Harris all medalled at past BC Games events.
Abbotsford gymnasts will also be well represented, with athletes Emily Butte, Vienna Howes, Hayen Isfeld, Jonathan Ko and Emily Phillips. Also heading to Fort St. John is head coach Richard Ikeda and assistant coach Andry Friesen.
Biathlon also has a number of local athletes and coaches going to the Games, with competitors Jade Finch, Cindy Ma, Beckett Parker and Samuel Ward competing. Head coach Charles Finch, assistant coach Eric Tang and officials Mary Finch, May Finch and Tammy Ward are also all making the trip.
Other Abbotsford athletes heading to the Games are: Jasmine Archie (archery), Ethan Gould (archery), Elise Froese (wheelchair basketball), Brook Aleksic (curling), Anika Doerksen (figure skating), Katie Marchbank (figure skating), Izzabelle Tsang (karate), Macie Kitt (ringette), Jaryn Moore (ringette), Edie Paul (ringette), Paige Valentine (ringette), Flynn Eccles (alpine skiing), Rachel Na (alpine skiing), Mason Poitras (alpine skiing) and Gage Sewell (alpine skiing).
Abbotsford coaches and officials helping out at the event are: Curt Smecher (archery), Benjamin Garrett (wheelchair basketball), Shannon Joanisse (curling), Cyndi Fairbrother (gymnastics), Steve Tang (karate), Linda Paul (ringette), Hannah Shewring (ringette), Jailene Smit (ringette), Kirby Sewell (alpine skiing) and Kathleen Wenting (speed skating).
Over 1,000 athletes in total will head to Fort St. John and are competing in 15 different sports. The athletes will be supported by over 300 coaches and close to 200 officials.
The event runs from Feb. 20 to 23, beginning with the opening ceremony inside the North Peace Arena on Feb. 20.