(Clockwise from top left) Lily Nay and Ida Jenns; Lindsey Ellett; Jacob Mattson; North Island Bantam Eagles; Sebastian Gylander. (Black Press Media, submitted)

(Clockwise from top left) Lily Nay and Ida Jenns; Lindsey Ellett; Jacob Mattson; North Island Bantam Eagles; Sebastian Gylander. (Black Press Media, submitted)

From marathons to lengthy swims, B.C. athletes persevered through 2020

These athletes battled through hardships to achieve their goals

In a year where much of the biggest news in sports was that there weren’t any, star athletes and regular people alike found a way to thrive. Here are the top five inspirational sports stories of 2020.

South Surrey teacher runs DIY marathon after Vancouver event cancelled due to COVID-19

Lindsey Ellett was planning on running the Vancouver BMO Marathon this May. The school teacher had put in months of hard work and she was excited – right up until it was cancelled as the pandemic began in earnest this March. But Ellet refused to let all those miles go to waste. READ MORE

Maple Ridge man runs mega-marathon for Movember

And we have another runner. Jacob Mattson only started running when the pandemic hit but he made up for lost time by running up to 80 kilometres a week. Mattson also raised $2,805 for prostate cancer research, so every single mile was certainly worth it. READ MORE

Golden Special Olympian returns home a national champion

Remember pre-pandemic 2020? Well, during those blissful months, a Golden athlete came home a champion. Sebastian Gylander. He brought home four medals – two of them gold – so one could say he brought the thunder to the Special Olympics national championships in Thunder Bay. READ MORE

Lily and the lake: How a young B.C. girl with Down syndrome swam to her dream

Many of us spent 2020 sitting on our couches, working our way through Netflix’s library at an alarming rate. But some of us, like 10-year-old Lily Nay, accomplished something amazing. READ MORE

North Island Bantam Eagles battle back and throttle Sooke Thunderbirds en route to BC Championships

It was the story of a the little team that could. According to their coach, “the boys were super jacked to play in front of a full barn” and play they did. READ MORE


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Best of 2020

Just Posted

The river behind the ball field. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Pulled by the flow: river stirs up childhood memories

Gazette editor makes trek through Port Hardy wilderness to swim in the river

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Alert Bay council has decided to cancel Canada Day celebrations. (Alertbay.ca photo)
Alert Bay council cancels Canada Day celebrations

The decision was made in wake of the mass graves being found at former residential schools

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

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