Yukon News

Yukoners win record 60 medals at 55+ Games

Tom Patrick Friday September 3, 2010

Andrew Kizell/Yukon News

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Judy Lightening competes in lawn bowling during the Senior Games in Brockville, Ontario, last week.

As any of the 105 Yukoners who attended the 2010 Canada 55+ Games last week in Brockville, Ontario, will tell you, the Games are about participation, not competition.

“I say to my friend, it’s like going to summer camp for oldtimers,” said Whitehorse’s Barbara Phillips. “We all stay in the same hotel and we have lots of laughs. It was great!”

That aside, Team Yukon cleaned up.

Surpassing the territory’s previous record of 40 medals from two years ago in Dieppe, New Brunswick, Yukoners came home with 60 medals, including 23 gold.

Phillips, who was competing in the women’s 65-plus swimming, won four medals, including silvers in the 50-metre breaststroke, 100-metre breaststroke and 100-metre individual medley. She also took bronze in a mixed relay event with teammates Steve Duncan, Marg Dunn and Paul Dabbs.

“I think I’m most proud of the 50-metre breaststroke,” said Phillips, who also competed in 2008. “I was really close to getting a gold; I was a hundredth of a second. If I had gasped two, instead of three times I might have won the gold.

“But I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of what I achieved, because I’m not really an athletic person.”

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of medals came in the events that allow athletes to compete in multiple events, like swimming. For instance, this year 25 medals came from the pool while 29 resulted from efforts given in track and field.

“We can participate in multiple events, unlike with other sports where there’s just one medal,” said Dabbs. “A swimmer can participate in five events, four individual and one relay.

“That makes it different from other sports, where they’ll win one medal at most.”

Dabbs, who lives in Tagish and was competing in his third 55+ Games, won five medals, three silver and two bronze, in the men’s 60-plus swimming. The silvers came in the 50-metre backstroke, 100-metre freestyle and the 100-metre individual medley. The bronzes came in the 50-metre freestyle and in the relay with Phillips.

With no pool in Tagish, Dabbs sometimes only practises once a week, when he’s in Whitehorse “running errands and so forth.” Otherwise, he zips up the wetsuit and swims in Tagish Creek just outside his house.

“It sometimes takes a little more discipline than I have,” said Dabbs.

“Yes the medals are nice, and it’s wonderful to do it, but it’s more the sense of participation that is the fun part of it,” he added.

Watson Lake’s David Kalles, who tied track and field athlete Pamela Bangart and swimmers Steve Duncan and Dabbs for the most medals from a Yukoner, won five gold on the track and road in the men’s 70+ age category.

His bevy of golds came in the 400-, 800-, 1,500-, 3000-metre events and in a five-kilometre race, finishing eighth overall.

“The five-kilometre was a good race - I was eighth overall, which was a pleasant surprise,” said Kalles, who was competing in his third Games, going once as a curler. “I barely got by the second place finisher in my division.

“It was phenomenal week, just being there, and the competitors in track and field are so gracious.”

As profitable a trip as it was, Team Yukon did have one streak come to an end. In both of the previous two events, Yukon won the Spirit of the Games Award, which goes to the team with the best sportsmanship, team spirit and loudest cheering.

“Apparently we weren’t allowed to win it again,” said Phillips. “We were definitely the loudest. Apparently we’ve won it too many times - we were told we weren’t allowed to win it again.

“The Yukon team, as a whole, really stuck together and supported each other, much more so than other provinces,” she added. “Everybody cheered for everybody else and it was a great group to be with.”

Yukon medal winners

Gary Hewitt

(55-plus darts) - silver

Gary Hewitt/sub

(55-plus darts doubles) - silver

Hilda Tuck/Bill Simpson

(70-plus floor shuffle board) -

bronze

Susana Edwards/Arla Repka

(55-plus badminton doubles)

- silver

Dave Kalles

(70-plus track and

field/5km run) - 5 gold

Irene Brekke

(65-plus track

and field) - bronze

Pamela Bangart

(55-plus track and field) -

gold, 3 silver

Tom Parlee

(60-plus track and

field) - bronze, silver, gold

Ron Parlee

(55-plus track and f

ield) - 3 silver

Allan Fozard

(55-plus golf) - bronze

Michael Craigen

(60-plus track and field) -

bronze

Merton Freisen

(75-plus track and field) -

silver

Marla Velisceck (70-plus track

and field) - bronze

Jo Hopkins

(75-plus track and field) - gold

Gail Miller-Craigen/Pamela

Bangart/Darlene Dimsdale/

Chris Duncan

(open track and field ladies

relay) - silver

John Hall

(70-plus track and field) - 2

gold, silver, bronze

Darlene Dimsdale

(55-plus

track and field) - 2 gold

Gail Miller-Craigen

(60-plus

track and field) - silver

Ken Burke/Michael Brauer

(70-plus lawn bowling) - silver

Ken Burke-Judy Lightening

(55-plus lawn bowling) -

bronze

Michael Brauer-Eileen Bird

(70-plus lawn bowling) - silver

Steve Duncan

(55-plus swim-ming) - 4 gold

Nesta Leduc

(75-plus swim-ming) - 4 gold

Robby Dale

(60-plus swimming) - 2 gold,

bronze

Jim Coxford (65-plus swim

ming) - gold, silver, 2 bronze

Barbara Phillips (60-plus

swimming) - 3 silver

Paul Dabbs (60-plus swim-

ming) - 3 silver, bronze

Roger Hanberg

(55-plus 10km run) - silver

Spence Hill

(55-plus swimming) - gold

Steve Duncan/Barb Phillips/

Marg Dunn/Paul Dabbs

(open swimming mixed relay)

- bronze

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