Local tennis ace Les Gilbert took home gold in men’s singles aged 70 to 74 at the 55+ Senior BC Games last week, in Kelowna.
Gilbert played his best, defeating all of his opponents quite handily, never dropping a single set all tournament.
The resident of Lake Country practiced at least three times a week this summer in hopes of winning gold. Gilbert said he didn’t know what level of competition to expect from his competitors and had to practice extra hard.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into, so I had to prepare in anticipation of getting through some serious competitors,” he said.
“I prepared well, went in and dealt with the situation I had in front of me. It could have gone the other way, I’m just so pleased it turned out the way it did.”
Lake Country Tennis Club member Chris Johnson has known Gilbert since he joined the club seven years ago. He says Gilbert is a fierce competitor who worked very hard to be the best.
“The tennis gods were smiling that day (referring to the finals),” said Johnson. “He put in the time training and took care of business.”
In addition to Gilbert’s gold medal performance, Lake Country tennis partners Derek Turvey and Patrick Miley scored a great result winning Silver in men’s doubles aged 70-40.
The 55+ BC games were a success with over 4000 athletes competing in 33 different sports beside tennis. Out of the 12 provincial zones, the Okanagan-Similkameen region finished in first with 422 medals (180 gold, 119 silver, 123 bronze).