GRAVENHURST - The summer Olympics and Paralympics got the attention of the world this year, but all the while, two Gravenhurst residents were preparing for a medal hunt of their own.
Golfers return from seniors games with bronze and fourth place.
IN THE HUNT. Mickey Bonner of Gravenhurst was one of two local residents to take part in the Canada 55+ Games held in Sydney, Nova Scotia over the Labour Day weekend. He picked up a fourth-place finish while Carolyne Dixon was one of two Ontario golfers to earn a medal with bronze. (Submitted photo)
Mickey Bonner and Carolyne Dixon returned early last week as two of 44 golfers (22 male, 22 female) to represent Ontario and their Muskoka district at the Canada 55+ Senior Games in Sydney, Nova Scotia, held Aug. 31 through Sept. 1.
The golf competitions were held at Lingan Golf Course and the duo were in awe of the beauty of the course, not to mention the activity around them.
“Sydney did a great job of hosting the games,” Bonner said. “It was four days of friendly competition, with people from all provinces in the country.”
In total some 1,580 participants took part in sports and events such as bridge, cribbage, hockey, lob-ball, golf, curling, swimming, floor shuffleboard, bowling, badminton, cycling, table tennis and track and field.
Although both have taken part in the provincial senior games in the past, it was their first appearance at the national games and competition was tough. Bonner explained the course was approximately 6,000 yards for the men and 5,200 for women and each local duffer took part in the low-net category.
“Wind presented a challenge both days but otherwise the weather was great,” Bonner said.
“It was very windy and my first day I three-putted 13 holes and shot a 117,” Dixon explained, adding although weather improved for her second round and overall score increased, her game trailed off a tad. “The second day was still windy but no three puts, I ended up with a 105, which is the average for my handicap.”
She said at that point she had no expectations and chalked the weekend up to a great experience and challenge and left the course.
“I didn’t feel I had any chance for the medals,” she said. “But I called the next morning just to see where I had placed and to my surprise was told I had won third (and a bronze medal).”
She was one of only two Ontario-based golfers to medal and the only female.
Meanwhile, Bonner also turned in two solid rounds of golf, just missing out on a bronze medal of his own by one stroke. He ended up fourth over all for his age group.
He added though, that the closing ceremonies were a worthy consolation prize, as the athletes were treated royally and to a concert featuring Rita MacNeil, Men of the Deeps, Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac.
Alberta won the most medals in the competition with a total of 113, Ontario had 80 and the host province, Nova Scotia won 77.
All the results can be viewed at canada55plusgames2012.com.