The Pan American Games closed with Team Canada winning 151 medals (35 gold, 64 silver, and 52 bronze), including a number of first-ever Canadian Games medals (e.g. wrestling, golf, triathlon mixed relay, and taekwondo poomsae). Canadian athletes also earned seven qualifications for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
BC Games alumni featured in 10 of those medals including an historic triathlon silver medal in the mixed relay for alumni Hannah Henry (Victoria) and Desirae Ridenour (Cowichan Bay). This was the first time this discipline was competed in a Pan American Games. Both Henry and Ridenour competed at the 2014 BC Summer Games.
Rugby’s Caroline Crossley (Victoria) helped Canada defend its gold medal title from 2015 with a 24-10 win over the United States in Lima, Peru. The Canadian women dominated the tournament outscoring the competition 175-0 entering the final. Crossley competed at the 2012 BC Summer Games.
Mo Zhang (Richmond) also contributed a gold medal in table tennis mixed doubles. Zhang competed at the 2004 BC Winter Games and was competing in her third Pan Am Games.
Just over a year ago, softball ace Sara Groenewegen (White Rock) was in a medically induced coma diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. She came back as a force pitching a perfect game against Venezuela at the Games striking out 10 batters in five innings. Softball left the Games with a silver medal. Groenewegen competed at the 2008 BC Summer Games and went to represent BC at the 2011 Canada Summer Games.
Thirty-eight BC Games alumni represented Team Canada at the 2019 Pan American and Para Pan American Games.
At the Para Pan American Games, Team Canada is comprised of 151 athletes, including sport assistants, pilots, and guides. Parksville’s Trevor Hirschfield helped Canada to a silver medal finish in wheelchair rugby. Canada’s 47-58 loss to the United States in the championship final means Canada will have to play a last chance qualifier to compete in the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Hirschfield competed at the 2002 BC Summer Games in Nanaimo in athletics.