Forrest named North Okanagan’s athlete of the year

At age 21, Ina Forrest had her world rocked upside down when struck by a drunk driver.

The accident left Forrest a paraplegic but didn’t slow her down. She immediately got into wheelchair curling and everything she touched has turned to gold.

And on Friday night, Forrest, of Spallumcheen, was named the 28th North Okanagan athlete of the year at Spirit Square by Vernon City Hall.

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Forest, 60 and a mother of three, sported a golden smile despite the pain of taped hands from carpal tunnel surgery.

Forest was on gold medal teams at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics and earned bronze in PyeongChang. She is a three-time gold medalist at world team championships in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

“We win and lose as a team, so it’s always teamwork that makes us get ahead,” said Forrest.

The winner of the leadership award was Sharon Morrison of Armstrong, who has coached Forrest for 18 years. Morrison, who has travelled to 15 countries for curling, also helps coaches and officials learn the trade.

“I have been very lucky,” said Morrison. “This has been a great sport because it’s a team sport.”

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Team of the year honours went to the Seaton Sonics senior girls volleyball team, silver medalist at the provincial championships. The Sonics were coached by Troy Lorensen.

“We had six returnees this year and we will have six next year,” said Lorsensen. “We’re already excited for next year.”

Dan Currie, John Topping, Jack Gilroy, Ann Holmes, Pete McIntyre, Roger Knox and Kevin Mitchell served on the selection committee.


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