CONTRIBUTION · 8th March 2010
Dennis Leary - Terrace 2010
Chris Neykov knew there was something wrong, three powerful strides into his 500m short track speed skating race Friday at the Terrace 2010 BC Winter Games. The skater from Kelowna felt unbalanced, and realized that his blade had become detached from the boot of his skate.
“I was really mad,” said Neykov. “The 500m is my favourite race and I wanted to make the A-final. I figured my whole weekend was over.”
Neykov’s coach approached co-ordinator Anne Pousette fo find out if Chris could get another skate so he could continue to compete at the Games.
“We just helped a club in Terrace start, so I put him in touch with Chris Thomas who has taken the reins of the brand new Terrace Stealth Speed Skating Club,” said Pousette.
“Luckily we had a skate in his size and we were more than happy to let him use it, so he could get some races in,” said Thomas.
With custom boots costing as much as $1,000 and no new speed skates available in local sporting stores, Neykov had hit the jackpot. His blade wasn’t damaged so he attached it to the boot from Terrace and was back in action on Saturday.
Wearing two different boots didn't seem to affect Neykov, as he claimed a gold medal in the 1500m relay and 2 bronze medals, in the 666m and the 1000m.
“I've been skating for 5 years now and I've never seen that happen at a competition,” said Neykov. “I'm really fortunate that so many people came forward to help me or I would have been watching the races I wanted to skate in. Without the help from Terrace I wouldn't have got my medals.”
Thomas, who would like to get young skaters from Terrace and Kitimat interested in speed skating so the Zone 7 can send skaters to the next BC Winter Games, was happy to contribute. “Hey, we didn't have a whole skater there but a boot from Terrace got 3 medals, so that's a start!”