Athletes lean on family for support through B.C. Winter Games journey

By Chad Klassen
February 23, 2018 - 6:24pm Updated: February 23, 2018 - 7:56pm

KAMLOOPS — For anyone to be successful, they need the true support of family and friends. That is especially true for high-level athletes, 1,200 of whom are in Kamloops for the B.C. Winter Games. 

Bonnie Lawson travels everywhere with her grandson Josh Telizyn competes, including here in the Tournament Capital of Canada. 

"Just two weeks ago, we were in Quebec City when he was racing and were in Fort St. John for the Canada Cup. We stayed in Fort St. John. There was the [Canadian Junior Long Track Championships], where he was No. 1 for his age group," said Lawson. "He also won the nationals in Quebec City."

Bonnie and husband Glenn live on the Coast in Maple Ridge. Telizyn lives in Fort St. John. But they find a way to go to all his races.

"It means everything. He needs support and we support all the Fort St. John kids. It's just part of the family," she said. 

Telizyn said his grandparents are the lifeline of the Zone 8 speedskating team. 

"Yesterday night, we didn't get enough food at dinner because we had about five minutes to eat, as usual, so we texted them," he noted. "They brought in some pizzas. Everybody was happy, everyone went to bed full. We got a full nights rest and now we're back racing."

Telizyn, now a two-time defending national champion in his age class and one of the best young speedskaters across Canada, knows it takes this kind of support to make it this far. 

"Your family is just your bottom line. If you don't have family, you're hooped," he said. "You can't do anything without them."

Sherri Morrish is another one of those supports at the Games. At one time, it was for her two daughters who competed in the B.C. Games. Now, the emergency nurse at Royal Inland Hospital is giving back as the Winter Games' medical co-director. 

"It was amazing to be a parent, and not only did I get to be a parent but I got to be a trainer for the Interior team for the B.C. Games in 2016 for hockey," said Morrish. "Then to come back now in this role is wonderful, just to give back and to offer amazing opportunities to other children."

As for Bonnie and Glenn, they've travelled thousands of kilometres to watch and support Telizyn and they'll continue to do it as long as their health permits. 

"We support him, we have our health, we're able to go. Why stay at home," she said.

Search continues at Sun Peaks for missing resident