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Gold a great colour for North Okanagan masters athletes

Competitors collect 10 gold medals at recently completed B.C. 55+ Games in Victoria
Armstrong curlers Derrel Sears (from left), Sheron Sears, Carol Heinrichs and Wayne Heinrichs celebrate their gold medal victory in mixed 65+ curling at the B.C. 55+ Games in Victoria. (Facebook photo)

Having the last name Joyce, and being from the North Okanagan, proved to be a good thing in track and field at the B.C. 55+ Masters Games in Victoria.

Vernon’s Thomas Joyce collected five medals, including three gold, the most of any North Okanagan competitors.

Competing in the men’s 55-59 division, Joyce won gold in the 1,500-metres race with a time of 5 minutes 31.96 seconds. He won the 800m in 2:33.79 and leapt to a third gold in the long jump with a winning measure of 4.02 metres.

Joyce won silver in the shot put with a toss of 8.2m and was second in the javelin, heaving the spear 23.23m.

Stephen Joyce from Coldstream pocketed two track and field gold medals in the men’s 60-64 division. Joyce won the 100m in 14.73 seconds, and the 400m in 1:38.57.

Elizabeth Ariano from Coldstream was a double gold medalist in women’s 55-59 competitive cycling. She took the time trial in 32:31.26, and won the road race in 1:22:29.73.

The Armstrong quartet of Derrell and Sheron Sears, and Wayne and Carol Heinrichs won curling gold in the mixed 65+ event.

Enderby’s Terry Van Meer swam her way to three bronze medals in the 70-74 division, finishing third in the 50m breaststroke (1:05.11), the 100m freestyle (1:54.44) and the 100m individual medley (2:08.80).

Lumby’s Fred Ziemer and Vernon’s Lloyd Polack added to the North Okanagan gold haul. Ziemer won the men’s 70-74 5000m power walk while Polack hit the gold bullseye in the men’s 55-62 archery Target-Recurve Without Sight event.

Other medal winners and all North Okanagan results (by city) as pulled from


• Norm and Cindy Ouston, cribbage, 6th, men’s/women’s 55+ pairs flight C;


• Erwin Schur, men’s soccer, 65+, silver;

• Felicia O’Gorman, women’s 7 aside soccer, bronze;

• David Ariano, men’s cycling, 55-59 competitive time trial, bronze;

• John Neilson/Pauline Ng, table tennis, 70-74, competitive mixed doubles, bronze;


• Donald and Mary Snyder, cribbage, men’s/women’s pairs 55+, 8th;


• Dave Dawson, men’s 65+ soccer, silver;

• Ed Hogarth, men’s 65+ soccer, silver;

• Judith Leon, women’s 7 aside soccer, 55+, silver;

• Val Connell, track and field, women’s 55-59, discus, silver (24.63m); shot put, bronze (7.99m);

• Keith Newhouse, curling, men’s 65+, bronze;

• Nancy Hichok, cycling, women’s 65-69, competitive time trial, bronze (34:25.10); competitive road race, bronze (1:27:46.12);

• Grahame Go, archery, men’s 55-62 target-compound with sight and release, bronze; target-recurve without sight, 4th.

Former Vernon resident Jackie Little of Procter, near Nelson in the West Kootenays, an Okanagan Sports and Pacific Northwest Golf Association hall of fame golfer, won gold her first time competing in the Games.

From Sept. 13-17, Greater Victoria welcomed more than 2,600 competitors and 850 volunteers for the 55+ BC Games, the first provincial 55+ games since before the pandemic. Vernon hosted the event in 2017. The 2023 Games are slated for Abbotsford.

Athletic highlights of the Games include:

98-year-old swimmer lights cauldron, competes in three events

Swimmer and torch lighter Betty Brussel, 98, of New Westminster, the oldest competitor in the games, won gold in three swimming events and earned a standing ovation at the opening ceremonies.

Pentathlete breaks Canadian record for M70

Reidar Zapf-Gilje of Vancouver broke his own Canadian M70 pentathlon record—a record he set in June 2022, obliterating the previous top score.

Horse retires after golden run at Games, capping off career of competing worldwide

Mummy Mercedes, a Welsh pony that has competed in equestrian for over 15 years on three continents, came out of retirement for the Games, winning gold in all her events and getting a personal best perfect 10 in dressage. Rider is Martha Younger of Tsawwassen.

Sooke woman sets new women’s Canadian shot put record

Myrtle Acton, 89, of Sooke, earned six gold medals in throwing events, including setting a new Canadian record in master’s women’s shot put in her age category.

READ MORE: Vernon senior swimmer a golden smash at Canada 55+ Games

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Lumby campground loaded with agile dogs

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