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Gymnasts highlight Delta Winter Games contingent

BC Winter Games will be held Feb. 22 to 25 in Quesnel
Pictured left to right from Delta Gymnastics are: Kaiya Tien, Miele Teiffel, Keanan Morcilla, Isabeau Isaacson, Jordan Jones, Cassia Gates (alternate) and Amanda Hoolesema. Katie Lawrence-Balloch Photo

Six Delta Gymnastics athletes are heading north to represent their zones at the BC Winter Games, Feb. 22 to 25 in Quesnel.

The BC Winter Games is a new atmosphere for the athletes who are chosen to compete, as they are going as a member of a zone team or an independent wildcard, as opposed to representing their home gym.

“It means the world to us here at Delta Gymnastics [to have six representatives at the BC Winter Games],” said executive director Rich Wischnewski. “We are so proud of our athletes that achieve these goals and get to compete at this level of competition.”

The gymnasts attending this year’s games are: Miele Teiffel (level 8, Zone 5), Amanda Hoolesema (level 7, Zone 5), Isabeau Isaacson (level 8, Zone 4), and Kaiya Tien (level 8, wildcard) from the (WAG) team, and Keanan Morcilla (level 3, wildcard) and Jordan Jones (level 3, wildcard) from the (MAG) team.

It will be Teiffel’s second time at the BC Winter Games – last year as a Level 7, she won individual vault silver and was a part of the Zone 5 team that won gold on the same event. This year, she will be competing as a Level 8.

Isaacson and Tien are attending the Games for the first time and, along with Teiffel, will be getting great experience at this event, which Dober says they could use as a stepping stone to potentially qualify for Team BC in future.

Hoolesema is the only level 7 that qualified from Delta and will be making her Winter Games debut as well. She started with Delta Gymnastics when she was a little girl and has grown up with the club.

This will be Morcilla’s first time competing as a level 3. Last year, he was the level 2 MAG All-Around Champion at the BC Champs, the annual provincial competition for club gyms.

Jones started with DGS in the fundamental program and worked his way up to joining the MAG team just three years ago and will also be competing as a level 3 for the first time.

“This experience of trying to qualify for the zone team is the first time that they attempt to qualify for something,” said Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) Program Coordinator Jennifer Dober. “It’s also a unique and rare opportunity because it’s a big multi-sport event, like a mini-Olympics.”

Other athletes

Also attending the Games from Delta South are Eason Yucheng Dang in badminton, Brody Dhaliwal in curling. Representing Delta North are coaches Thomas Lok (archery), and Chris Vipler (cross-country skiing), Annika Vipler (cross-country skiing), Leila McManus (figure skating), Olivia Varisco (ringette) and Julia Townsend (wheelchair basketball).