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CLOSING CEREMONIES – Some 2,000 gathered Friday for dinner following the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Canada 55+ Games. Photo courtesy TEAM YUKON

Team Yukon brings home record 83.5 medals from 55+ Games

Team Yukon registered a record medal count at last week’s Canada 55+ Games.

By Chuck Tobin on August 27, 2018

Team Yukon registered a record medal count at last week’s Canada 55+ Games.

The 138 athletes representing the territory in Saint John, N.B., brought home 83.5 medals, including 24 gold, 28 silver and 31.5 bronze.

Gary Hewitt earned half a bronze after teaming up with a fellow from Ontario to take third in the men’s doubles event in darts.

The previous record for the Yukon at the senior games was 79 medals.

Last week’s team was the largest ever.

Gold medals came in the five-kilometre run, floor shuffleboard, Scrabble, horseshoes, cycling, swimming and in most of the track and field events, particularly the sprint events.

Brenda Dion, for instance, won gold in the 50-metre dash and the 100-metre, adding to the gold she won in the five-kilometre run.

Teammate Donna Jones won gold in the 200-metre and 400 metre races, adding to her silver in the 5-km.

The track and field contingent was the largest of the 17 contingents making up Team Yukon, with 21 athletes competing.

Each of the different contingents contributed to the medal count. In Scrabble, otherwise referred to the “Brain Games,” both Collen Tyrner and Shirley Clark won gold in their categories, for example.

The four days of Games ended Friday with the closing ceremonies and dinner – plate service for some 2,000 participants.

The Yukon did lose the bid to host the 2020 Games. Kamloops, B.C. was chosen, though word is it was extremely close between Whitehorse and Kamloops.

Whitehorse hosted in 2004.

Tom Parlee, president of the Elderactive Recreation Association, said last week the fact that B.C. has not yet hosted the senior games was likely a factor in the selection of Kamloops.

Parlee won gold in the discuss and silver in the shot put for the 70-plus class.

The average age of the Yukon team was 68, with 11 participants over 80.

Cribbage player Betty Hebert was recognized at last Tuesday’s opening ceremonies as the eldest female participant – 93.

Co-chef de mission Marg White said everybody enjoyed themselves during and after their competitions, which included a sock hop on Tuesday evening and a maritime kitchen party Thursday night.

“I just think everybody had a good time,” she said Saturday, after most of the team had left to return home or tour around the East Coast. “By the end of the week, everybody knew everybody, so that was pretty neat.”

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