Okotoks pair net bronze medal
Badminton: Griep and Pocock earn spot on podium at Alberta 55-Plus Games
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 06:00 am
Cupid had his eyes set on a pair of first-time participants at the Alberta 55-Plus Winter Games on Valentine’s Day.
Shirley Pocock and Cheryl Griep picked up the bronze medal for Zone 2 in women’s doubles badminton after finishing the round-robin format with a record of 3-2 Feb. 14 at the Calgary Winter Club.
“I was trying to do my part at the back and she was doing her part in the front and we did seem to work together quite well,” Griep said of the team dynamics. “We ended up where we should have according to the teams that were there.”
Pocock said the third-place finish was a satisfying result for the Zone 2 team given the talent on top of the podium. Edmonton’s Barb Biggs and Diane Lougheed Keefe finished with a perfect record of 5-0 to win gold, while Rosalynn Thompson and Jean Leblanc from nearby St. Albert and Sherwood Park were second at 4-1.
“We train quite a bit and I thought we were a pretty good team,” Pocock said. “There were just two teams that we just couldn’t beat. They were just better teams than us. We thought we finished up right where we should be and were pretty happy to get the bronze.”
The Okotoks duo had an opportunity at the silver medal in their tournament finale when they faced Thompson and Leblanc as both teams entered play with a 3-1 record. The St. Albert duo won the match and the Okotoks team settled for bronze.
Both Pocock and Griep also participated in the mixed doubles competition. Paired with Arnold Kruger from Sundre, Griep finished 1-4 and out of the medal round. Pocock and her partner Hartmut Lipski of Olds also did not make it out of the round-robin portion.
Pocock said the Alberta Games experience was something to remember, after getting over the early jitters anyway.
“We were a little bit nervous overall, but badminton is such a gracious sport. It’s a very gentlemanly sport,” Pocock said. “We found win or lose every body was very gracious and we met a lot of nice people and it was lots of fun.”
Griep echoed the sentiment and plans to return to the competition in two years time.
“I think I would like to,” she said. “I’d like to see if I can improve and give those ladies that got the gold and the silver a run for their money.”
Podium finish in hockey
Okotokian Tom Kinsman didn’t have the benefit of familiarity at the Alberta 55-plus Winter Games. Turns out he didn’t need it as Zone 2 captured the bronze medal in the 60-plus division of men’s hockey by dispatching Zone 8 by a 4-0 margin.
“Our goalie played very well, but defensively the team played pretty tight,” said Kinsman, the lone foothills-based representative on the squad. “It was a really good experience and the volunteers and organizers did a fabulous job.”
The 63-year-old plays locally with the Black Diamond Bobcats several times a week which certainly helped during the grind of the two-day tournament at Calgary Olympic Park in Calgary.
“To go into it not being in good shape and playing three games in three days certainly would be a challenge,” said Kinsman, who plans to compete in the 2015 Games. “Playing on a regular basis does make a big difference. You’ve got your legs and your wind is there too.”
Elsewhere, Zone 2’s 55-plus outfit in men’s hockey finished in sixth place with a record of 1-2. The team featured former Vancouver Canuck and St. Louis Blue Rob Tudor and fellow-Okotokians Kevin Knibbs, Tom Snodgrass, Terry Ryan, Wayne Hansen, Charles Cook, Byron Hussey, Gary Bembridge, Ivan Brown as well as Robert Libbus of Turner Valley and Lennie Root and Daryl Smith of DeWinton.
In women’s curling, the Okotoks team of Debbie Miller, Marg Cox, Kerry Imler and Gail Giroux earned an eighth place finish in the 55-plus women’s division. The result was matched in 55-plus men’s curling, as the rock chuckers from the foothills, including Okotokians Jack Roszell, Harry Hallewell and Terrence Green along with DeWinton’s Lynn Topp, also took eighth place.
The full list of results from the 2013 55-plus Games is available at www.albertagames.com.