KAMLOOPS - Each person has memories that made 2015 unique to them, but these locals got to share some of their experiences with their community when they were recognized for putting Kamloops on the map.
Whether they made accomplishments in their careers, in fundraising efforts, advances in technology or creativity in the arts, here’s a rundown on some of the locals who made a name for themselves last year.
It took a while, but this year Kamloops’ Olympic athlete Dylan Armstrong finally got to wear his bronze medal earned in his shotput performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Armstrong was told he would receive the medal after the original third place finisher was banned from the competition for life based on a doping sample from 2005.
For his second year in the National Basketball Association, Olynyk continues to make strides. The Kamloops local was named on the Rising Stars team for the second time in a row. While he’s jetsetting and playing in many games, Olynyk still finds time to come back to the B.C. Interior for a visit. On his visit in July, he met up with some aspiring basketball players at Riverside park to give out a few pointers.
The 66-year-old local is a renowned skydiver who specializes in wingsuit flying — one of the riskiest sports out there. Hurlbut is well-known in his sport community and was able to tell Kamloops locals more about skydiving after he and 60 others successfully created a diamond in the sky formation by flocking together during their record-setting jump in California.
Hicketts started off this year with the country cheering him on as he joined Team Canada at the World Junior Championship gold medal hockey game, which they won. When he returned to Kamloops, the star defenseman was honoured at the Sandman Centre where he showed off the medal and signed autographs. Hicketts plays for the Victoria Royals in the Western Hockey League but is back at the World Junior Championship this week as well.
EDWARD ‘FAST EDDY’ DOSTALER
A push to raise funds for Alzheimer’s and breast cancer research sent Dostaler on a run across Canada. He accomplished the run, but his mission comes with a twist — he plans on running back home. The runner recently returned home to pick up his car so he can make classroom visits as part of an anti-bullying campaign added to his campaign.
STAFF SGT. MIKE SAVAGE
After announcing his retirement this year, Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Savage was honoured for his accomplishments in Ottawa. He was appointed into the order of merit of police forces as recognition for his various accomplishments in policing over his 34-year career.
MP CATHY MCLEOD
After a Conservative majority government changed to a majority Liberal government during this year’s election there were a few Conservative members of Parliament that became opposition members. McLeod became one of them after she was elected for her third term.
BOB DIENO & TARA HOLMES
These two were fed up with changing clocks every autumn and spring, so they decided to do something rather than complain. They created a Facebook page and launched a petition which quickly gained popularity across the province. After the petition amassed thousands of signatures, Dieno met with MLAs Terry Lake and Todd Stone to bring the discussion to the B.C. legislature.
ROBERT ATWOOD & RICHARD SULLIVAN
This tech company based out of Kamloops could be the source for life-saving programs after teaming up with Kamloops Search and Rescue. Hummingbird Drones is testing out infrared technology to see if it could help emergency personnel find missing people out in the bush and they also worked with B.C. Wildfire to see how drones could help map wildfires and detect hot spots.
In an effort to combat mental illness, Sara Gillis, who is a student at Thompson Rivers University, joined 13 others to create the phone app ‘Booster Buddy’ which can help youth going through a mental episode. The app is the first of its kind in Canada.
Local teen Collier hosted several shows to display his fashion creations over the last few years, but 2015 was when he bid Kamloops a farewell to pursue studying fashion full-time at Ryerson University in Toronto. The young designer’s pieces and shows drew in packed houses that included classmates and fashion boutique store owners.
Kamloops actor Dennis Cound continues to pursue his acting career among other artistic endeavours, but was happy to land himself a small role in a Hollywood movie right here in the Okanagan. Cound scored a few lines of dialogue with famous actor Anthony Hopkins, which was enough film space to allow him an apprentice spot in the actor’s union. Beyond acting, the local CP rail engineer makes handcarved pieces out of soapstone. He was recently invited to join other top artists at a contemporary art convention in France.
The Kamloops-based indie rock band won $50,000 after it was named a finalist in the PEAK Performance Project again this year. Through a public vote, bootcamp and private assessment, the group beat out nine other bands from B.C. and Alberta competing for a top spot.
KAMLOOPS PIPE BAND
A local bagpiping group took their talents abroad to represent B.C. at the Piping Live Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. The Kamloops Pipe Band was one of five Canadian bands to take part in several competitions across the pond. The Kamloops group finished second in a highland games competition in Perth.
KAMLOOPS FIRE RESCUE
Firefighter training is tough stuff, but the local firefighters showed off their chops at the FireFit Canadian Nationals and then by setting a new record relay time at the Firefighter Combat Challenge in Alabama.
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