The complete rosters for the upcoming B.C. Winter Games were announced this week, confirming that the local speed skating club is sending a strong contingent – the Ridge Meadows Racers will have three girls and four boys to represent the Fraser Valley (Zone 3) at the Games.
The B.C. Winter Games are set for Mission Feb. 20-23, and 1,800 participants have registered to take part – 1,344 athletes, 346 coaches and 156 officials from across the province. They will compete in 18 different sports.
The girls from the Racers are Janie Green, Shivani Bahadur and substitute Lilah Croft. The boys – Timothy Song, Marshall Shupe, Pascal Chassay and Tahlon Flamma.
The seven local skaters are all under 14, and the Games will be an important step in their evolution as competitors.
“The Winter Games – to some of them, it’s the local equivalent of the Olympics,” said club president Jacques Chassay. “It’s an important milestone.”
He’s happy with the contingent from the Racers.
“It’s definitely a big showing – we’ve got good representation this year,” said Chassay.
Good in terms of numbers and quality, he clarified. Leading the Racers will be Green, daughter of Olympic medallist Eden Donatelli Green, who is also her coach.
She will be in contention to win a gold medal. On Saturday the Matsqui Blades hosted a meet at Abbotsford Recreation Centre, which is where the Games speed skating competition will be staged. She won first place in two 400m races, and took second in the 200m pursuit. The weekend prior she won the 400m and 1,500m races at the Sardis Flyers meet.
Bahadur was right behind her in the 400m in Abbotsford, and took two gold medals in Sardis.
Any of the kids could medal in the unpredictable sport of short track, said Chassay.
The news hits home for him – Pascal is the president’s son.
“We’re happy he’s in the Games, and it’s an awesome experience.”