Chilliwack rhythmic gymnasts reach the podium at B.C. Winter Games

Five members of the Fraser Valley Rhythmic Gymnastics Club won silver in Fort St. John

Five Chilliwack gymnasts teamed up to capture a silver medal at the B.C. Winter Games, which were held last weekend in Fort St. John.

Twelve year olds Emilie Hendley, Addisyn Heiligers, Mariella Owen and Matthew Tremblay and 10-year-old Zoe Mcconochie represented Zone 3 (Fraser Valley) in the rhythmic gymnastics group event.

The five athletes all train at Fraser Valley Rhythmic Gymnastics.

With five groups competing, and the top three separated by just fractions of points, success came down to performing two clean routines.

“This team’s success is a result of strong friendships and incredibly hard work,” said Mimi Pan, head coach at Fraser Valley Rhythmic Gymnastics. “Training with lofty goals in mind can be tough, but these athletes have fun when working hard, especially when they are together.”

Assistant coach Alysha Petersen relived part of her own experience from 12 years ago. Petersen competed at the 2008 BC Summer Games in Kamloops in Rhythmic Gymnastics, and also received a silver medal in the group event.

“I had a great experience at the Games 12 years ago, and it has been amazing to be on the other side of that experience now,” said Petersen. “I have felt honored to be a small part of this team’s journey, and I am so proud of their hard work and dedication.”

As the team heads into a new phase of their training, they lose Hendley, who is moving to Ontario.

“As sad as it is to let her go, we are so proud of Em and the joy that she has contributed to our team,” Heiligers said. “As my best friend I am so incredibly grateful for all of the things that she brought into my life. Em is the most amazing, quirky, joyful person I’ve ever met. She lights up every room she walks into, and I hope that never changes!”

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Meanwhile, Chilliwack’s Shea Amelie won three individual medals at the Games.

Competing in the Junior Olympian 8 division, she grabbed gold on the vault and snagged silver on the floor and all-around.

For full B.C. Winter Games results, see bcgames.org/Games/Results-and-Participant-Lists

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