Seventeen young athletes from Kelowna are tuning up for the International Children’s Games next month in Innsbruck, Austria.
The City of Kelowna last week outfitted the local athletes in their team jackets, as they prepare to compete in the sports of alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, cross country skiing and biathlon.
“I am proud of all of the Kelowna athletes and coaches going to the Games to represent our city on this international stage,” said Kelowna mayor, Colin Basran “They have worked hard to excel at their sport and be a part of Team Kelowna.”
The International Children’s Games is the largest multi-sport youth games in the world and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, featuring athletes between 12 and 15.
Over 1000 athletes and their coaches from 55 cities around the world are expected in Innsbruck early next year.
Only four Canadian cities will be at the Games with Kelowna being the lone Western Canadian centre.
Representing Team Kelowna are:
• Alpine skiers—Alex Baldassare, Hallie Jenkins, Anthony Kurkjian, Luke McMillan and Cara Shaw.
Freestyle skiers—Owen Brunt, Blaise D’Alberthanson, Ainsley Macdonald and Jyssica Heiss
• Cross country skiers: Clara Dickieson, Oliver Eisele, Sally Haaheim and Grayson McKinno
• Biathletes—Makenna Banser, Kira Friesen, Cameron Janssen and Rory Hay.
Supporting them at the games are their coaches, Steve Lewandowksi, Trevor Haaheim, Ross McKinnon, Andrew Hay and Lorraine Friesen.
The young athletes are part of a total delegation of 51 going to Innsbruck from Kelowna.
“The whole team—athletes, coaches and family members—are all hugely excited about competing in Innsbruck,” said local Kelowna ICG Committee President Heather Schneider.
“Innsbruck is respected worldwide for their expertise in hosting winter games, including the Olympics and more recently the Youth Olympics. The Innsbruck games will be an experience of a lifetime for our young athletes and coaches.”
Kelowna is one of the few cities to have won medals at both Summer and Winter International Children’s Games, with a haul to date of 14 medals since first participating in the 2011 Winter Games which were held in Kelowna.