Starting Feb. 18, more than two dozen athletes from Surrey, Delta and White Rock will compete with Team B.C. at the Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.
Venues across the island province will host competition in 20 sports during the two-week Games, ending March 5.
Close to 3,600 athletes will be in PEI for the Games, streamed live on CBC Sports platforms and also on CanadaGames.ca/watch. Results and other Games details are posted on 2023canadagames.ca.
Revealed Thursday (Feb. 9), the Team B.C. contingent includes 350 athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff.
Surrey-area athletes to compete in PEI include Gurbaksh Saini (badminton), Neil Imada (male curling), Finn Liu (fencing), Lila Bulka (gymnastics), Savin Virk (male hockey), Jack Bakker (male hockey), Grant Reid (male hockey), Lowan Le Bris (judo), Jeremy Le Bris (judo manager), Kevin Berar (mission staff), Julia Harvie (ringette), Grace Kemp (ringette), Rod Needham (ringette coach), Barnett Liu (speed skating) and Adam Ingle (speed skating manager).
The list of Delta competitors includes Gavin Russell Santoro (alpine skiing), Grace Wang (badminton), Tasha Lai (figure skating), Alex Clarke (figure skating manager), Makenzie Grant (gymnastics), Rebecca Noble (female hockey), Will Sharpe (male hockey), Owen Hou (judo), Alexandra Zed (ringette), Jessica Murphy (ringette) and Ryan Bolton (speed skating).
On a list sent by Team B.C. reps, Adrian Wong (fencing) is the lone athlete who notes White Rock as hometown.
Team B.C. will be led into the Games’ opening ceremony by 17-year-old flag-bearer Oonah Gamboa (Vancouver) from karate, which is making its debut at the PEI Games. Gamboa enters the Games ranked fourth in the world and first in Canada in Junior Kata.
At the last Canada Winter Games in Red Deer in 2019, Team B.C. finished fourth with 87 medals and a record-setting 30 gold medals.
With a forecasted economic impact of more than $100 million, the 29th edition of the Canada Games is said to the largest event hosted in Prince Edward Island’s history.
Fraser Heights resident Barnett Liu hopes to speed-skate his way to a medal in PEI. Three years ago, in February 2020, Barnett was lightning-quick on the track in Fort St. John, where he won four gold medals and added a silver during the 2020 BC Winter Games.
Now 16, he’s found his stride to compete at the Canada Winter Games. Last summer, he was invited to attend the Next-Gen Talent Camp hosted by Speed Skating Canada in Montreal, among other achievements.
“Barnett is considered to be a rising star in our province and we are very proud of him here in B.C.,” wrote Nicole Garrido, coach of Richmond Olympic Oval High Performance Program, in 2020. “As someone who has worked closely with Barnett, I believe he can, and will, go far in the sport.”
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