Enderby’s Marni Abbott-Peter continues to add to her immense legacy in wheelchair sports.
A three-time gold medalist, to go with a bronze in her four Paralympics appearances in wheelchair basketball, and a member of six Halls of Fame including the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, Abbott-Peter pocketed more hardware in Prince Edward Island on the weekend.
Abbott-Peter was an assistant coach in wheelchair basketball for Team B.C., helping the province win its first-ever gold medal in the sport at the Canada Winter Games, defeating Alberta 79-32 in the championship.
B.C. was undefeated at the Games, and Abbott-Peter was the first to credit the athletes’ families with helping the team achieve their golden goal.
“It just shows what it takes for athletes to excel,” she said. “They need support from all areas, not just coaching. These families are outstanding – getting these kids to practices and camps and doing it all, and then showing up here. It’s just a huge family in wheelchair basketball – not just in B.C., but all across Canada.”
Vernon’s Parker Munroe won a silver in biathlon in the first week’s final weekend of competition. Munroe teamed up with fellow Sovereign Lake Nordic Development Academy members Molly Caldwell of Golden and Liam Simons of Prince George, along with Mia Rodger of North Vancouver, to win silver in the mixed relay.
Munroe anchored the team to the silver medal, finshing in one hour 11 minutes and six seconds. Quebec won gold in 1:09:54 and Alberta took the bronze in 1:11:06.
“It was very exciting. I knew we had a strong team going into this. It’s super exciting to see it happen,” said Munroe. “In an individual race, it’s all on you. With this, there’s a lot of pressure, especially being the anchor. They set me up in a good position, so I had to maintain that to get a good result.”
Munroe loved Team B.C.’s biathlon overall performance in PEI, which saw Caldwell shoot and ski her way to four medals.
“Team B.C. did amazing,” he said. “Lots of medals. And lots of energy. We had some really great performances and it was a lot of fun too.”
Hudson Kibblewhite of Vernon missed the podium in men’s hockey as B.C. finished fourth.
Kibblewhite had three assists in an 8-6 semifinal loss to eventual gold-medal-winners, Ontario. He was held off the scoresheet in B.C.’s 7 -3 loss to Quebec in the bronze-medal match. Ontario beat Saskatchewan 3-2 in OT for gold.
Team B.C. won 52 medals in Week 1: 21 gold, 12 silver, 19 bronze. One of the gold medals came courtesy of Vernon’s Tate Garrod in freestyle skiing (Slopestyle).
Vernon’s Maya Serdachny is playing women’s hockey for Team B.C. Their first game is Monday, Feb. 27, vs Saskatchewan. Quebec and New Brunswick are also in Pool B.
Lumby’s Matthew Leach takes to the slopes in Para-Alpine Skiing Tuesday in the giant slalom, and Vernon’s Amy Milne competes in the women’s giant slalom for Alpine Skiing.