Glacier Bear makes first steps onto podium

If he's a true Yukoner, the taste of gold will only leaving him wanting more.

If he’s a true Yukoner, the taste of gold will only leaving him wanting more.

Whitehorse Glacier Bears’ Edouard Bourcier, 14, swam his way to his first ever medals at the BC Winter AA Swimming Championships in Penticton, BC, over the weekend.

Making his first medal haul a particularly golden one, Bourcier finished first in the 100- and 200-metre breaststroke and the 200-metre individual medley.

“They were all my first medals for actually racing, so they are all really good medals and I’m happy,” said Boucier. “At meets here you don’t win any medals, but when you get to a higher level like AA, you start to get medals.”

No slouch in his other races, Bourcier narrowly missed the bronze in the 100-metre freestyle by 0.4 seconds, taking fourth. He also placed 11th in the 100-metre breaststroke.

Having left the same event empty handed last year, Bourcier points to heightened levels of preparation for his success.

“I think I was really ready for this competition; I was focused and stayed in good shape before,” said Boucier. “Usually I do whatever, but this time I made sure I was in top shape.”

Also representing the Glacier Bears at the meet was Hailey Bielz, 17, making the finals in three events. Bielz, who is also a coach for the Glacier Bears, placed fifth in the 400-metre freestyle, sixth in the 200-metre backstroke, sixth in the 800-metre freestyle, seventh in the 200-metre individual medley, ninth in the 100-metre backstroke and 10th in the 200-metre freestyle.

“She’s in Grade 12 now, so she’s focusing on other things right now, but she’s still swimming,” said Glacier Bears head coach Marek Poplawski. “When she was younger she was more successful because she had more time to spend swimming.

“She’s a solid swimming and she was in finals there, so it was great for her.”

At the meet Bourcier attained AAA qualifying times for the 13-14 age group. However, with a birthday coming up, Bourcier will no longer qualify for the same age group, preventing him from attending the BC Winter AAA Swimming Championships next month.

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