The Canadian team competing at the 2012 London Olympics Games has distinct British Columbia flavour, including three athletes and two coaches with ties to Surrey, White Rock and North Delta.
Forty per cent of the Canadian team - 110 athletes - has B.C. connections. That number includes 67 who were born in this province and another 43 who relocated here to live and/or train.
Two former members Pacific Sea Wolves swim club in South Surrey will be competing in London - Hilary Caldwell and Richard Weinberger - while former Quebecborn and White Rock-based Christine Girard will be a medal threat in women's weightlifting.
They are joined by Surrey residents Allison and Mike McNeill, who will coach the women's basketball team.
Richard Weinberger: The 22-year-old Weinberger was born in Moose Jaw and grew up in Surrey before relocating to Victoria to live and train. He started swimming indoors competitively before making the switch to open water swimming where he quickly made an impact.
He won a pre-Olympic test event in London last summer and went on to win gold for Canada at the Pan American Games in Mexico in November.
Weinberger earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic Team with a second-place finish at a qualifying
race in Portugal in May.
He will compete in open-water swimming in London.
Hillary Caldwell: The 21-year-old Caldwell was born and raised in White Rock and grew up swimming with the Pacific Sea Wolves. After high school she moved to Vancouver Island to attend the University of Victoria.
In 2011, she won a silver medal for Canada in the women's 200-metre backstroke at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China.
Caldwell is slated to compete in the women's 200m backstroke in London.
Christine Girard: Born and raised in Quebec, the 26-year-old Girard moved to White Rock three years ago with her RCMP fiancÃ©. A 2008 Olympian in weightlifting, Girard missed a bronze medal by three kilograms in Beijing.
Girard currently holds the Canadian records for her weight class as well as the Commonwealth and Pan American Games records.
She is a two-time Commonwealth Games medalist (bronze in 2002 and silver in 2006) with two more medals earned in Pan Am competitions (gold in 2011 and silver in 2007).
She will be competing in the 63-kilogram weight class in women's weightlifting in London.
Allison and Mike McNeill: the husband and wife duo have been involved with basketball for most of their lives.
Allison McNeill enjoyed a distinguished coaching career at the University of Oregon and Simon Fraser University before taking over the reins of the Canadian senior women's national team in 2002. Under her guidance, she led the Canadian team to world championship berths in 2006 and 2010.
Mike McNeill grew up in North Delta and was a member of the 1972 North Delta Huskies team that won the B.C. high school championship. He went on to play and coach at the Simon Fraser University before joining Basketball B.C. He serves as an assistant coach with the Canadian senior women's national team.
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