The swimming competition at the 2015 Western Canada Games concluded in much the same way as they began: with TeamBC making the statement that they were the team to beat in the pool as they swept the top two placings (teams could only score two) in both events contested.
Sunday's originally-scheduled 5K Open Water race had to be moved to the indoor facility given the precipitous drop in water temperatures at the planned open water venue (15C as of Saturday, having dropped from 22C when we arrived). This was something of a disappointment to our swimmers, but much preferable over the prospect of spending over an hour in hypothermia-inducing water.
The girls' 5K race got the day started, with Brooke Lamoureux and Jordyn Ryan (both COMOX) quickly pulled away from the rest of the field and easily finishing in that order. For Brooke, this was her third medal of the Games, having won silver in the 1500 and bronze in the 800, while Jordyn added the silver in the 5K race to the gold she'd won earlier in the 200 Fly.
The boys then jumped into the pool and then equalled that feat, with Josh Zakala (KAJ) taking the win. His teammate, Andrew Woinoski (SFA) did his best to hang with Josh, but couldn't match his 1:06/100m pace. Ethan Phillips (KCS) similarly stuck to Andrew for as long as he could, but Andrew's regular surges throughout the race eventually snapped the elastic and Ethan settled for third.
Nonetheless, it was a great finish to a great meet; the SwimBC athletes in the able-bodied and para- events out-scored those of all the other provinces in both the boys' and girls' points race, and most importantly to the staff, did it with a superb combination of grit, desire, determination, support of their teammates.
The Games came to an end with the closing ceremonies at Shell Place, where we were very pleased and honoured to have one of our Special Olympics swimmers - Jesse Shade - who swims with the Campbell River Killer Whales, represent the entirety of TeamBC as the flag-bearer for the closing ceremonies.