Three teammates, three different results, but in horseshoes, as in the games themselves, it’s the camaraderie and love of the game that keeps them coming back.
Played Aug. 20-24, this year’s B.C. Seniors Games saw more than 3,500 athletes age 55-90+ descend on Kamloops to compete in 25 sports, from tennis to track and field, pickle ball to dragon boat racing and cycling to swimming.
Back home with a bronze medal in horseshoes is 82-year-old Peter Kucey from Qualicum Beach.
Kucey reckons he’s been throwing shoes since he was young stubble jumper on the farm in Winyard, Saskatchewan. He retired to the Island in 1989 after 38 years as an educator.
This was his seventh B.C. Seniors Games — all of them competing in horseshoes. Participants are only permitted to compete in one event.
“I had a gold in a couple, a few silver, a couple bronze, I really enjoy the games, the people and the facilities were just super this year. No wonder it’s called the tournament capital of Canada.”
Kucey played seven games and went 5-2.
Games are to 40 points or 40 shoes, whichever comes first. Ringers, where the horseshoe stays on the peg, are worth three points, but the big thing in this game he explained is a players percentage. If a player makes four ringers out of 10 throws his percentage is 40.
“I went in with a 29.9 percentage, and in those seven games the highest I got was 46, which is probably the highest percentage I’ve ever had, and that was against the guy that won gold — I was only three points away from beating him. And the other guy (that won silver) he caught me really bad,” chuckled Kucey. “I was down to about 25 (per cent) against him which was the worst I had out of the seven games.”
“It was great fun, it always is,” he said of the big annual event, for 55 and overs.
Joining Kucey on the Zone 2 horseshoe team were Peter Giesbrecht from Coombs and Nanoose Bay’s Trish Anderson.
A past-president of Zone 2 and longtime slo-pitch player, this was Anderson’s 11th games and first in horseshoes.
“She was doing extremely well, she won her first three games, was winning her fourth and her back gave out on her. The three people she beat won gold, silver and bronze,” said Kucey.
A retired longshoreman, Giesbrecht, 80, was competing in his eighth seniors games.
“I have spinal stenosis and I thought I’d have to give up after a game or two, but I played them all,” he said easily. “I only won one, but I threw a lot better than anticipated.”
There were 23 sports in Kamloops “and Zone 2 participated in 21 of those.”
OTHER LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS: In track and field, Oceanside had three standouts in the mix:
Hildegard Buschhaus collected 11 gold medals in the Womens 85-89 event; Joe Giegerich garnered three gold, two silver and a bronze, and Hans Tenor did likewise in the Men’s 85-89.
In slo pitch, Oceanside’s Thrifty Foods Orcas — Charles Blakey, Hugh Bohm, Greg Corbett, Judy Elliott, Joyce Norman, Mike Ketteringham Bryan Knights and Chuck Sardo — gold.
As already reported in The NEWS, Emmy Matte and Russell Sharock cleaned up in the swimming event.
In soccer, the Balding Eagles 65+ team of Jim Moore, Peter Rowland, Dave Flooker and Neil Worboys took silver.
The Nanaimo Old Bouys, which included Oceanside’s Larry Meyers, John Ogle and Bill Squires, took gold in ice hockey.
QB’s Wendy Pearce and Gordon Lundine won gold in 55+ floor curling.
Terry Harrison was on the women’s 55+ team that won silver medal in dragon boat racing.