Daniel Loban (at right) celebrates his silver medal at the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games on Feb. 23. Kelowna’s Xander Appels, at left, won the bronze. Kristi Patton/Black Press

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Daniel Loban gave his best impression of Olympic snowboarder Sebastian Toutant as he posed on the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Games podium.

Throwing his hands in the air with a medal draped around his neck might be something that is commonplace among the young medal winners participating in the provincial multisport competition, but it is new for this group. As well for the three females who won medals in snowboard cross at Sun Peaks on Friday because for the first time in 40 years snowboarding events are included in the Games.

“I think it is pretty sick, especially because there is a lot of young athletes in snowboarding that are going to get a chance to compete in the B.C. Games. It is a stepping stone to bigger contests that is for sure. It is definitely a good atmosphere,” said Loban after the snowboard cross event.

WATCH: What you need to know at the B.C. Games

It was after the Penticton 2016 B.C. Winter Games that B.C. Snowboard approached the B.C. Games Society to include the sport into the multisport Games that occur every two years.

“It has been a great Games experience for the athletes to the coaches,” said Cathy Astofooroff, executive director of Snowboard B.C. “It is a chance for great exposure to the sport reaching kids and parents who we may not have otherwise touched.”

Astofooroff said B.C. has a growing snowboard culture and the senior team feeds 80 per cent of the national snowboard cross team.

“Every event we do — whether it is clubs, camps, officials training or education — it all helps build an athletic pathway for athletes and coaches and the Games are now definitely part of that pathway.”

WATCH: Looking back at the 1970 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

Kelly Mann, president and CEO of the B.C. Games Society said they go back to the provincial sport organizations every cycle to ask new sports to apply to be a part of the Games, to amend their programs and age groupings. It is up to the sport organization to have the administration capacity and they must have athletes, at minimum, in six of the eight zones that compete in the Games.

Mann believes it is an important role the B.C. Games Society holds to help foster growth in sport, from the athletes to the coaches.

For some participants it is a stepping stone on to further development provincially, nationally and then on the world stage at the Olympics. At the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, 19 B.C. Games and Team B.C. alumni suited up for Team Canada. The snowboard team included six athletes from British Columbia. And there is other athletes like Kelsey Serwa, competing in her third Olympics, who have benefitted from the support B.C. provides its athletes at different levels.

“Right now there is kids competing here in Kamloops that in eight years, there is no reason they can’t be on an Olympic podium,” said Mann. “B.C. has such a strong sport system investment from the provincial government. Look at the Olympic team right now, 25 per cent of the athletes are from British Columbia.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Everett pulls ahead in Western Conference standings over Vancouver Giants

Langley-based hockey G-Men, who lost 6-5 to Everett Saturday, now prepares to take on Victoria.

Langley Thunder lacrosse teams pocket gold and silver in Richmond

Top finishes for U15 and U13-1 teams at Richmond Romp over the Remembrance Day weekend

Langley Rams downed by Saskatoon Hilltops at Canadian Bowl

Four-time Canadian Junior Football League champions built up an insurmountable lead

VIDEO: Crash on 88 Avenue in Langley

At least one car suffered extensive damage

Extreme weather alert issued by Langley shelter

Gateway of Hope offers homeless warm place to sleep

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

Most Read