Kelowna politicians, media, former Olympians compete at Celebrity Pentathlon

The Okanagan Athletics Club put local celebrities' track and field skills to the test during its inaugural Track and Field Expo.

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick competes in the javelin throw event at the Celebrity Pentathlon Saturday. The event was part of the Okanagan Athletics Club's inaugral Track and Field Expo.

Local politicians ditched their suits and ties, media personalities set aside the microphones and former Olympic athletes dusted off their runners for the inaugural Celebrity Pentathlon, held at Apple Bowl Arena Saturday.

Seven competitors—including Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan, Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick and 2004 Olympic athlete Malindi Elmore—tested their javelin, shot put, running, jumping and hurdling skills in front of several spectators and Okanagan Athletics Club athletes and coaches.

“They were amazing,” said Sharon Hughes-Geekie, OKAC president.

“They did really well considering they haven’t trained. If they joined our club, I think they could do amazing things.”

Elmore, a product of the former Kelowna Track and Field Club, was the favourite going into Saturday’s event, and she didn’t disappoint.

She earned the fastest times in the 200 metre run and 60 metre low hurdles events to help her claim gold in the pentathlon.

“Today was really fun. I think it’s pretty awesome that the (OKAC) put this together to try to increase the exposure of the club,” said Elmore.

Elmore, who represented Canada in the 1500 metre event at the 2004 Olympic Games, said track and field is “one of the best sports to be involved in.”

“It’s got an event for every type of athlete and person.

“It’s really cool to see so many kids coming through the sport—I’m hoping they have a lot of fun as well as a lot of opportunities offered to them through the sport.”

Cannan surprised many of his fellow competitors by finishing second in the pentathlon, ahead of former Canadian national team athlete and Canadian Olympic team physiotherapist, Greg Redman.

“I was looking for the oxygen at the end of the 200 metre run,” joked Cannan.

He said track and field is a good option for keeping a healthy lifestyle.

“There’s a concern this generation might not live as long as their parents because of obesity,” said Cannan.

“This recognizes the importance of people of all ages staying fit…it’s a fun day to support the initiative and the cause.”

The Celebrity Pentathlon was part of OKAC’s inaugural Track and Field Expo, which gave visitors the opportunity watch accomplished athletes demonstrate various track and field disciplines before getting the chance to try the activities themselves.

“We wanted to make sure people are aware of athletics,” said Hughes-Geekie.

“Everybody thinks about soccer and hockey when they’re putting their kids into sports. Some adults don’t realize that track and field is really a lifelong sport.”

Hughes-Geekie noted some of OKAC’s 131 members are in their 70s and 80s.

“We’re always looking for more people, of all ages. We train all ages of athletes here, not just kids.

“We produce some amazing athletes…some very exciting people come out of this club. But it’s also a good recreational club as well.”

For more information on the Okanagan Athletics Club, visit



Just Posted

Kelowna golf course ready and open for spring business

Two Eagles Golf Course opened Saturday, more to come

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA hopes annual climb will promote peace

MLA Norm Letnick’s 5th Annual Spring Climb for Health & World Peace is April 6

Possible assault to bus driver in Kelowna

A minor bus crash was reported just after 8 p.m. Friday night

Car crash nearly sends car over embankment in West Kelowna

RCMP search for driver of alleged stolen vehicle that caused crash

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Letter: Stop raising the minimum wage

To the editor: The government is looking for ways to put more… Continue reading

Letter: Immigration will not help other countries, or our own

To the editor: Firearms are not the culprit in all those massive… Continue reading

Letter: Sprawl destroying natural landscape

To the editor: I agree with the assessment by Ian Pooley in… Continue reading

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read