BC Games towed watersports Day 1: Phillips follows in mother’s golden footsteps

For Michela Phillips, gold medals seem to run in the family.

Levi Cole won gold in the boys 14-17 wakeboard competition at the BC Games.

Levi Cole won gold in the boys 14-17 wakeboard competition at the BC Games.

For Michela Phillips, gold medals seem to run in the family.

The 17-year-old from North Vancouver won the BC Summer Games junior women’s wakeboard title on Friday afternoon at Abbotsford’s Albert Dyck Park.

Kathy Kreiner-Phillips, Michela’s mother, was on hand as a celebrity medal presenter, and she draped the gold medal around her daughter’s neck. Kreiner-Phillips is a former alpine skier who won Olympic gold in the giant slalom in 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria.

“It’s pretty cool, because she was also a gold medalist,” Phillips said, reflecting on the unique podium moment with her mom.

“She’s pretty inspirational. All our life, she’s told us we can do whatever we set our minds to. When she was growing up, she was always told she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. But she keeps pushing us, and it’s really helpful.”

Phillips edged Emma McNichol of Nanoose Bay and Rachel Maj of Langley in the junior women’s division.

In the junior men’s wakeboard competition, Vancouver’s Levi Cole was the champ, while silver went to Cam Desloges of Shawnigan Lake and bronze went to Jon Cole of Vancouver.

The top three in the junior boys division were Mason Shadlock of Mill Bay, Jacob Haddon of Burnaby, and Tate Borg of Peachland. Brooklyn Sutherland was the girls wakeboard winner.

The barefoot water-skiers competed Friday morning in adverse conditions – steady rain, accompanied by wind, rendered the water less than placid.

“As far as barefooting goes, when it’s raining, the rain’s kind of coming at you at 40 miles an hour,” Abbotsford’s Adam Lehner noted with a chuckle. “It hurts your face and you can’t see very well, so it’s a little bit more challenging. And it was windy, too, so the water was pretty rough. You’ve just got to make the best of it.”

Lehner, the lone competitor in the junior men’s division, wasn’t overly happy with his trick run, but he set a personal best in the slalom.

Other barefoot medalists included Conner Brolin of Surrey (gold, boys 2 division), Kevin Lawrance of Mission (silver, boys 2) and Nicole Yonkman (gold, girls 2).