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Kelowna’s strong history of producing elite level athletes

A look at some of the most notable professional athletes from Kelowna, B.C.

When it comes to physical fitness, Kelowna residents take pride. The city has produced some amazing athletes, that inspire the best of us.

Here are 10 notable athletes who have called Kelowna home:

Taylor Ruck

Taylor Ruck is an Olympic level swimmer. She won two Olympic bronze medals as part of Canada’s women’s 4×100 metre and 4×200 metre freestyle relay teams at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Josh Georges

Josh Georges is a retired NHL defencemen who played for the San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

Georges played his junior years with the Kelowna Rockets before making the jump to the NHL. He finished his career with 124 points in 783 games.

Byron Dafoe

Byron Dafoe is a former National Hockey League goaltender. From 1992 to 2004, he played for the Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Atlanta Thrashers. He was a second-team All-Star in 1999.

Christie Van Hees

Christie Van Hees is a retired racquetball player. She won two World Championships in women’s singles and was the highest-ranked women’s professional player at the end of the 2004-2005 season.

Justin Schultz

Justin Schultz is an NHL defencemen currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a major part of the team that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

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#JustinSchultz #PittsburghPenguins #NHL #Pens #Schultzy

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Tess Critchlow

Tess Critchlow is a professional female snowboarder.

Since 2001, Critchlow has entered nearly every snowboard competition held at Big White Ski resort.

In 2013 and 2014 she won back-to-back junior national titles and has also recorded numerous Nor-Am Cup podium finishes at Big White.

She is currently competing at the Inaugural Barrels and Berms FIS SBX World Cup at Big White Ski Resort.

Malindi Elmore

Malindi Elmore is a track and field runner who specializes in the middle-distance events. As of Jan. 19, 2020 she holds the record for the fastest time run by a woman in a marathon at 2:24:50.

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Where do I even begin to thank everyone who was with me today - in my heart and on the course - while I was able to do something I love and achieve something that, until recently, was never on my radar? I can’t believe my run today in Houston was a Canadian Marathon record! I always identified with being a middle distance runner and not a (crazy) distance runner...until I realize how fun training and racing is, and how fun it is to seek new challenges. Needless to say, I am now hooked :) I am so incredibly grateful to the amazing community of runners, friends and family who have been part of this journey. Most of all @grahamthehood who never gave up on me and nailed the coaching for me this last year with our family first philosophy. So awesome to be greeted at the line by so many of my Canadian running friends, including @tashawodak who broke the Canadian half marathon record today - and who is someone I raced against 20+ years ago in high school!! full circle! And of course, to the amazing Silvia Ruegger, @lannimarchant, @raecliff, @kristaduchene, @daynapid whose own marathon exploits in Canada have inspired me. Feeling grateful and incredibly fortunate to do something I love.

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Steve Bozek

Steve Bozek is a retired NHL player who spent 11 seasons in the league playing for Los Angeles, Calgary, Vancouver and San Jose. He was known for his hard-shot and being a reliable 200-foot player.

In 641 NHL games, he registered 331 points.

Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa is a retired Canadian freestyle skier who was a member of the Canadian national ski cross team. She won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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