The Kootenay Zone may have brought home 15 medals from the 2012 BC Summer Games, but only one matters to Kieran Simpson: the bronze he earned in the long jump competition.
His longest jump was 5.32 meters, which put him in third place, behind Valemount’s Omar Medina, who won with 5.95 metres, and second-place Felix Law of Vancouver, who jumped 5.4 in the Games, which ran July 19-22 in Surrey.
Simpson said the fact that it was a provincial competition didn’t bother him, but knowing it was part of the BC Summer Games did make him a bit anxious.
“The Summer Games made me more nervous, especially compared to Kootenay meets where there’s not as much pressure,” said the 15-year-old.
Simpson also competed in the 100- and 200-metre runs, in which he placed 17th and 19th, respectively. Each long jumper jumped three time in a first round and three times in a second — for Simpson, that meant a round of jumping, then running 200 metres, followed by the final round of jumping.
“I jumped even farther after I did the race,” he said.
Simpson enjoyed the scale of the event, from the top-notch competitiors to the opening ceremonies, which “were huge.”
“There were tons of people everywhere,” he said. “It was easy to get lost.”
The long jumpers and other track competitors spent their nights in sleeping bags cushioned by gym mats on classroom floors at Surrey’s Enver Creek Secondary School. And in the day, they were shuttled from place to place as necessary.
“Every day, we had to get on a bus to go eat,” Simpson said. “There was a specific spot for everything, even a place to shower.”
Despite his achievement, Simpson modestly shrugs off praise, knowing that long jump just happened to be the sport for him.
“In elementary school, you do every sport,” he said. “I was better at this one than most.”