Morning Star Staff
Mira Grypink had a little trouble convincing her daughter, Jackie, to enter the 55+ B.C. Games in North Vancouver.
Once Jackie got in the pool, she not only excelled but surprised her 82-year-old mother.
“It was greating having Jackie with me,” said Mira, a Games veteran. “We swam the relays together and won three bronze and she beat me in one race, the 25-metre breast. I will hear about that the rest of my days.”
Mira, who will compete at the 50+ World Games in Utah next month, pocketed six gold medals in solo events in North Vancouver. Jackie, a 55-year-old teacher at Hillview Elementary, earned two gold, two silver and two bronze in solo events.
They helped Zone 5 Okanagan-Similkameen take fifth place out of 13 zones with 113 medals, 58 gold. The Lower Mainland topped the team table with 489 medals, 217 gold.
“We stayed at the Holiday Inn and it was full of athletes from the Games so we had a good time,” said Mira, who has two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
In men’s 60+ soccer, Al Bensmiller, Denis Chabot, Dave Hampton, Erv Schur, Rich Zecchel, Mike Siemens, Denis Chabot, Mahmoud Abdelkader and Tim Penaluna represented Vernon on the silver-medalist team which bowed 1-0 to the Victoria Strikers (South Island) in the final.
The Okanagan Oldtimers crew stopped the Strikers 1-0 in preliminary play on a goal by Jindro Vilimek off a surgical free kick past the wall inside the left post.
“Unfortunately they outworked us in the final,” said Siemens. “It was difficult to get into their end since they pressed our end constantly making it difficult to get the ball into their side of the field. Their goal came in the last several minutes, a far post header just inside the left post off a cross from the right side of the net, halfway from the corner, almost on the touch line.
“We played very well considering many of us had never played together on the same team. We truly represented our region, with players from all over the valley, including Kurt Schadeli from Creston who kept us in it in the first two games. All other teams we played looked to be club teams with players that had played many years together. It may well have been the difference in the final.”
Schadeli provided the goal as the Okanagan drew 1-1 with Vancouver Columbus.
Zone 5 tied the North Island Balding Eagles 2-2 on goals from Schadeli and Abdelkader.
Several of the Zone 5 team took in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact Saturday night at B.C. Place.
The Okanagan zone Kickers also struck silver in men’s 55+ soccer with Rob Ross and Steve Coombs representing Vernon.
The Kickers lost 3-0 to Columbus in the gold-medal match.
“We started out each game slowly but gained confidence quickly, winning our first three games 3-0, 3-1 and 3-1,” said Coombs. “Having lost four guys to various injuries we were down to two subs for the final, up against some fresh legs and a good team. There just wasn’t quite enough in the tank to grab the gold.
“Everyone played their hearts out and after four games in four days, we already want another shot at the gold next year. It was a fantastic honour to have played on this team.”
In women’s 75-80 doubles tennis, Hiltrud Sommerfeld and Sylvia Griffiths, both of Coldstream, produced silver. Marsha White and Gaylene Warner of Vernon earned silver in women’s 65-70 doubles.