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Salmon Arm athletes head to Maritimes for PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games

Alpine skiing, nordic skiing and hockey will play a big role for Shuswap residents
Lily Brook and Kaden Baum pose with their medals at the 2022 Nationals in Whistler. Both Lily and Kaden are heading to the Canada Winter Games in PEI, which begins Feb. 18, to compete in the Para Nordic events. (Donna Flatman photo)

When the Canada Winter Games get underway in Prince Edward Island, Team BC will include several Shuswap residents.

A contingent of 350 B.C. athletes, coaches, managers and more will be in PEI for the 2023 Games, which take place from Feb. 18 to March 5.

Salmon Arm athlete Ronan Wiens, 14, is participating in Alpine Skiing, the Giant Slalom and Slalom Para Male events. He will be competing at Crabbe Mountain in New Brunswick on March 1 and 2. This will be his first Canada Games.

Ronan has been alpine skiing for nine years and is a member of Silver Star Adaptive Snow Sports. His coach is Collette Laplante.

Kaden Baum, 16, will be competing in Para Nordic Sit Male events. A member of the Larch Hills Para Nordic program, Kaden has been skiing with sit skis for six years and recently participated in the 2022 Nationals in Whistler. Kaden says his goal for the Games is to gain race experience.

Lily Brook, 18, will be heading to PEI for the Para Nordic Sit Female events. Also a member of the Larch Hills Para Nordic program, Lily took part in the 2022 Nationals in Whistler.

Both Lily and Kaden will compete in the 2.5 kilometre and 5-km races as well as the sprint, which are scheduled for Feb. 28, March 2 and March 3. They will be accompanied by their assistant coach, Donna Flatman, also a Salmon Arm resident.

Flatman noted that in addition to the Canada Games, both Kaden and Lily will be competing in the BC Winter Games in Vernon in March, Kaden in the Para Nordic events and Lily switching to wheelchair basketball. Lily is also an avid wheelchair boxer.

Salmon Arm resident Sawyer Mayes, 16, will be playing hockey. According to stats on the Elite Prospects website, Sawyer has played with the Thompson Blazers of the BC Elite Hockey League (BCEHL) on the U15, U17 and U18 AAA teams. This season, along with the U18 AAA team, he is listed as having played two games with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

As well as the participating athletes from Salmon Arm, coaches Peggy Maerz, boxing, and Jennifer Gibson, speed skating, are on the Team BC roster.

This is the third time PEI has hosted the Canada Games since 1991, according to the Canada Games website. Athletes will compete in 20 sports at venues throughout PEI, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Team BC finished fourth with 87 medals and a record-setting 30 gold medals at the last Canada Winter Games in Red Deer in 2019. Team BC officials say the team is expected to be near the top of the medal standings once again.

Read more: Natalie Wilkie, 7-time Paralympic medallist, honoured by Salmon Arm council

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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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