Yukoners win six medals at Senior Games

Three Whitehorse athletes competed at the 25th annual World Senior Games last week in St. George, Utah, and none left empty-handed. Cyclists Michael McCann and Bill Curtis, and athletics competitor Tom Parlee, collected a total of six medals.

Three Whitehorse athletes competed at the 25th annual World Senior Games last week in St. George, Utah, and none left empty-handed.

Cyclists Michael McCann and Bill Curtis, and athletics competitor Tom Parlee, collected a total of six medals.

“Over the last two or three years, I’ve managed to come back with two or three medals each time,” said McCann, who was making his 12th appearance at the Games.

This year was no different.

Competing in expert men’s 60-64 division, McCann finished his stay in Utah winning gold in a 62-kilometre road race on Friday, crossing the finish line one second ahead of second place at one hour, 45 minutes and 27 seconds. McCann, who won two silvers at the 2010 Games, had to withdraw from the road race with a broken derailleur last summer.


“It’s a very difficult course; it climbs for about three quarters of it,” said McCann. “It’s climbing, climbing, and then the last third of the race is a lot of fast downhill. On the one big downhill, which is about a five-kilometre stretch … there were six of us at the front going down this big downhill. I was approaching 78 kilometres an hour on the downhill, was going around the bends, so it was kind of exciting.”

McCann also won a silver in the 40-kilometre individual time trial after winning a bronze in the hill climb at the start of the week. With Yukon’s cycling season long over by the start of the Games, it’s not unusual for results to improve with each race.

“I think what we always struggle with is there’s quite a gap between our last races (in Whitehorse) and our first races in St. George,” said McCann. “It’s almost six weeks, so it takes a little bit of time to get back into racing mode.”

Curtis, cycling in men’s 55-59 Division 2, also finished with his best result, capturing bronze in the road race at 1:56:45, surpassing his previous personal best time for the distance by over four minutes.

“There are a lot of fast old farts down there,” said Curtis. “Out of 55 riders, there were 25 that broke an hour – that broke 60 minutes for 40 kilometres.

“It was a really good way to end the season: to have two really good rides, to finish off and go, ‘That was good, all that training paid off.’”

Curtis, who won a bronze last year at the Games, also took sixth in the hill climb and fourth in the 40-kilometre time trial at 1:06:50 last week.

“The competition seems to get stiffer every year,” said Curtis. “It’s a great event to go to – it’s inspiring. Just when you’re feeling down about your own abilities, you go down there and you see these 70-75 (year-olds) – even a 90-year-old – competing, and you go, ‘Wow, I’ve got another 20, 30 years to go yet.’ The skill level of these 50- to 80-year-olds is great to see.”

Competing in men’s 60-64 years division, Parlee captured a silver in the shot put, throwing 9.79 metres, and a bronze in the discus, reaching 32.66 metres. He also finished sixth in the javelin at 25.62 metres.

Parlee, who could not be reached for comment, won three medals at the 2010 Canada 55+ Games in Brockville, Ontario.

McCann, unlike Curtis, also competed in a criterium race at the old St. George airport on Thursday. Cycling down one runway and up another, with the taxiways completing the loop, heavy winds forced racers to pay close attention to their competitors or risk being dropped.

“The wind was blowing about 40 miles an hour straight down the runway, so we’d come up into the wind, go around and we were going about 58 kilometres an hour down the back runway,” said McCann, who didn’t finish. “With that kind of scenario, you had to be really astute to be in the right position when you come back around into the wind with the group. If you allow any type of gap to happen, you’re toast.

“I have never been accused of being astute. On the fifth lap I got behind this guy and I realized he had fallen off the main group. So I went around him into the wind and there was no way I was going to catch this group.”

Overall placements for the cycling had not been calculated by the Huntsman Games by press time.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

The now empty lot at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on Jan. 19. As developers move forward with plans for a housing development that would feature 16 micro-units, they are asking city council for a zoning change that would reduce the number of required parking spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Developer asks for zoning change

Would reduce the number of required parking spaces

The Liard First Nation is preparing to enter negotiations for self-governance with the territorial and federal governments. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
Liard First Nation preparing to enter self-governance negotiations with Yukon, federal governments

Chief Stephen Charlie seeking an agreement separate from “dead end” UFA


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 20, 2021

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read