The highlight of Tavis Hamilton’s BC Games experience last summer in Nanaimo happened when he was picked out of a crowd of athletes.
With no representation available from Penticton at the closing ceremonies for the traditional passing of the B.C. flag, organizers asked if any athletes from Penticton were there. Hamilton and friend Michael MacLean were chosen after their coach pointed them out.
“It was the most incredible thing ever,” said Hamilton. “We just got lucky … and we went up on stage and it was just a huge honour to take the flag.”
Hamilton sensed the support from the crowd and said “it was literally the most incredible feeling I have ever had.”
“I had the greatest time there. I was so happy that I went,” said Hamilton, who helped team Thompson-Okanagan finish fourth in box lacrosse. “Most amazing trip I had sports related.”
“It was a cool experience,” he said. “Going up on the stage and looking over the whole crowd, all the smiles and everything. Everybody is wearing their medals, excited about what they accomplished. It was a lot of fun.”
Now on Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre, both will be part of the Torchlighting Ceremony for the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games that will welcome 2,000 participants to the city in just over 100 days. Hamilton said he never thought they would be called back for that.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a week,” he said. “So excited. I’ve been ecstatic over this. I have always watched the people light the torch from other games. I always thought it was so cool. To be with it is going to be breathtaking.”
“I think it’s going to be really cool,” said MacLean, playing his first season in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League with the Summerland Steam. “I’m really excited for all the kids. They are going to have a great experience.”