By Taylor Dennehy
KELOWNA – Okanagan athletes are off to Prince George next week to compete in the Canada Winter Games, the first Winter Games held on BC soil.
From February 13 until March 1, Prince George will be host to over 2,400 athletes from all over Canada with 55 of them coming from the Okanagan.
One of the athletes with Team BC is 17-year-old hockey player Ally Larson. She plays defence with the Pursuit of Excellence hockey academy, but is excited to be donning a new jersey for Team BC.
“It’s like a blessing… to be able to be in this,” she says. “The feeling is unreal. To be able to represent your province and where you’re from…is amazing. I don’t know how to describe it… it’s breath taking.”
Levi Kelbert is also heading to Prince George, in a sport you might not expect to see at the Winter Games. The 16-year-old archer has been honing his craft for six years and says unlike most kids his age, he’d rather practice archery than play video games. Kelbert says he’s nervous about the competition but remains optimistic that he has what it takes.
“You really got to get into your own bubble and just ignore everyone else because there can be a lot of distractions and that can really effect you” says Kelbert.
“For many athletes on Team BC this will be the first national event that they will have competed in,” says Team BC communications officer, Christine Ulmer. Ulmer says the games act as a spring board for athletes who will go to national, international and even Olympic events.