KAMLOOP — Dylan Armstrong had an outstanding international career in athletics. His multi-medal performances include Pan Am and Commonwealth gold, bronze in the shot put at the 2008 Olympics, and silver and bronze at the world championships while becoming the first Canadian thrower to reach the podium in major competitions. Armstrong never forgot where he came from and those who helped him.
"The support I've had here in the community in Kamloops and the support from all my friends and family, it's just been tremendous," says Armstrong.
"That is definitely one of the biggest things an athlete can have behind them going into professional, and even junior development. It's just been an awesome ride."
Armstrong is now giving back as a coach at the Kamloops Track and Field Club.
The late George Farquharson made a tremendous impact on the sport of target shooting.
He created the F-Class, a category of competition names in his honour.
George Farquharson passed away in 1995.
"It's made shooting in many places more popular," says his son David Farquharson. "It's spread it to various places in the World - he started it to make it possible for older guys to still be able to compete. At the same time it made the younger guys enjoy the shooting more, because it was more accurate."
Marilyn McLean has been involved in Special Olympics in B.C. and Kamloops for 40 years. She becoming the driving force of creating a local Special Olympics chapter after arriving in Kamloops in 1978. To this day McLean remains a tireless worker in efforts to make sure that Special Olympic athletes have the opportunity to participate and compete.
"It is absolutely focusing on the abilities, so we're seeing people setting personal bests and records in sports that all able bodied peope do," sas McLean. "Its just a reminder to all of us about what we can achieve. It's a story of hope, it's a story of moving forward and having that vision of what you actually can be."
Greg "Spike" Wallace is best known for his 28 years with the Kamloops Blazers - first as the teams trainer, including three Memorial Cup championships, and later in community relations. Spike began his career at a very young age working on the football field with teams at Valleyview Jr. Secondary and later at Kam High - later earning an athletic therapy degree in college.
"There was no way I was going to be an athlete -- I had a little bit of a defect when I was born -- I was not going to be an athlete," says Wallace.
"Tonight I was pretty proud of myself for what I've accomplished, from where I came from," says Wallace. "A little guy who had some friends playing football, and they encouraged me to get involved. I had friends that go me involved and I had good role models growing up. And then I had goals, and I accomplished those goals."
In March the South Kam Titans of 2017-18 became the first team in the schools long history to win a B.C. boys high school basketball championship.
Forty-four years earlier the Kam High Red Devils finished second in a disappointing loss to Oak Bay in the championship game.
It could be said that the 1974 Kam High Red Devils laid the groundwork and the foundation for the success of the 2018 South Kam Titans in finally clearing the hurdle. The '74 Red Devils go into the Sports Hall of Fame in the team category.
"I think we helped set expectations," says Al Chapple, a 7-foot centre on the 1974 Red Devils team. "Now when a team from Kamloops has great success, people aren't amazed or shocked anymore. It's kind of 'well, yah, they're good."
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