Agassiz speed skater Mya Onos is about to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The 12-year-old athlete is the sole Agassiz-Harrison representative on her way to the 2020 B.C. Games in Fort St. John from Friday, Feb. 21 to Sunday, Feb. 23.
Mya has been skating for four years. She got her start in rollerblades when she was six years old and graduated to ice skating soon after when she skated with the Sardis Flyers two years later.
The upcoming competition takes her a bit beyond her comfort zone as she is using long track skates as opposed to her usual short track. Her mother, Kate Onos-Gilbert, said this could work well for Mya, given that long track skating is better suited for taller skaters like her. Mya said she’s excited to give the new skates a try.
Mya is among the youngest speed skaters competing in the Games this year. She is one of six speed skaters from the Fraser Valley; three boys and three girls were selected.
Onos-Gilbert said the competition is all about the experience and is the highest-tier competition of its kind.
Nerves simply haven’t taken hold of Mya; she said she’s excited and ready to compete.
“She doesn’t get too nervous until right before the race,” Onos-Gilbert added.
Mya’s grandfather was also a competitive speed skater in Holland in the 1960s. It seems the winning genes came down the bloodline with Mya finishing fourth in the B.C. short track championships last March, earning her a spot at the Canada West Short Track Championship. Having done well there, she moved on to the B.C. Games.
The other representatives from the Fraser Valley are Beth Smith and Theory Havelka of the Langley Blades, Arthur Barnsdale of the Mission Racers and Mattias Daniels of Ridge Meadows.
Former B.C. Premier W.R. Bennett conceived the idea of the B.C. Games, which was founded in 1977. Penticton hosted the first Summer B.C. Games in 1978, with the Winter Games taking place the next year in Kamloops.
For more information about the upcoming games and to keep track of your favourite athletes, visit their website at www.bcgames.org.