From left to right:Red Mountain Racers Gavin Patterson

From left to right:Red Mountain Racers Gavin Patterson

Red Mountain Racers primed for B.C. Winter Games

Six Red Mountain Racers from Greater Trail will be hitting the slopes for the Kootenay Zone at the B.C. Winter Games in Mission this month.

A healthy contingent of skiers from Rossland’s Red Mountain Racers will hit the slopes at the 2014 B.C. Winter Games in Mission, Feb. 20.

Red Racers Kaysa Panke, Samantha Gaul, Orion Humpherys, Gavin Patterson, Matthias Hoffmann, and Logan Merringer were named to the Kootenay Zone team after qualifying in races in Fernie last month.

“We’ve been able to field a big team this year,” says RMR head coach Phil Patterson.

The Kootenay team is made up of 10 boys and 10 girls from the Whitewater, Fernie, Kimberly, Windermere, and Red Mountain ski clubs.

Dylan Henderson from Whitewater will be head coach of the Zone team and will be assisted by Sam French from Red. The Alpine events feature racers 13-14 years old, the youngest group of carded racers in the national ski-racing system.

“The exciting thing for me,” says Humpherys, “is that I get to be on the same team as kids I’m normally competing against. I may also get to see my cousin racing in the Nordic events.”

In fact, these games are host to a multitude of sports not typically associated with winter, including archery, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, and judo.

Three different alpine disciplines are part of the B.C. Winter Games: Giant Slalom, Slalom, and Ski Cross. Notable BC Games alumni who have gone on to compete internationally include three-time Olympian and multiple World Cup Champion Rob Boyd (1980 BC Winter Games), 2010 Olympian and three-time World Cup Champion Britt Janyk.

The Games, held from Feb. 20–23, will include participants from across B.C. in 18 sports. Most of the competitions will take place in Mission with some events in Abbotsford, the Township of Langley, Pitt Meadows, Hemlock, and Whistler.