Derek Vinge

Fernie rower competes for Canada

A “rookie” rower from Fernie has headed to Mexico to represent Canada at the Pan Am Games.

A “rookie” rower from Fernie has headed to Mexico to represent Canada at the Pan Am Games.

Derek Vinge, 28, is the oldest rookie on Rowing Canada’s 22-member team at the Pan Am Games, which run through October 30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“It’s a long way from the learn-to-row lessons I did (for one month) nine years ago,” Vinge said. He sits second in the lightweight four with Travis King (Grimsby, Ont.) at bow, Eric Woelfl (St. Catharines, Ont.) at third and Terence McKall (Edmonton, Alta.) at stern.

Even with a history of competing as a high performance athlete, this rookie virtually walked onto Rowing Canada’s team for the Pan Am Games upon arriving.

“In the grand scheme of things Vinge is very new to the sport of rowing,” said Rowing Canada development coach Chuck McDiarmid.

“The changes he’s made over a short period of time are quite amazing. Hopefully competing at the Pan Am Games will give him a taste of what he is capable of and encourage him to continue on his development pathway.”

Most of Canada’s Pan Am team is still competing for a university or recently finished at one, as it usually takes years to gain full-time Rowing Canada athlete status. (Victoria’s 19-year-old Patricia Obee is another exception, having won silver at this year’s world championships.)

But it hasn’t been years for Vinge – in fact, it was only one year ago that he first made waves at the Victoria City Rowing Club.

In November 2010, just three months after he first showed up to row, Vinge caught the attention of Rowing Canada by recording an erg score (ergometer rowing machine) that ranked him sixth among Canadian amateurs. Naturally he was launched onto Rowing Canada’s radar of amateur athletes.

Rowing Canada’s group at the Pan Am Games is mostly a development team with a bit of Olympic experience mixed in, such as 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Melanie Kok.

The first step for any Canadian rower is to get into that development system. And for chiropractor Vinge, it happened in the blink of an eye.

“I like to think it has to do with my physiology and training, which chiropractic (medicine) is all about – (executing) proper positioning, posture, muscle techniques, and lifting weights,” Vinge said.

As a teenager from Fernie, Vinge made the University of B.C. Thunderbirds’ track and field program, and was 11th in the marathon championships for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Since then he completed chiropractic schooling in Oregon and now practises at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence at Camosun College in Victoria.

For the highly-competitive Vinge, making the Pan Am Games is the final accomplishment on a list of rowing goals he set for himself back when he started.

“Now it’s a completely new list. The Olympics is pretty exciting, and it’s on there, but for me it’s such a long shot.”

 

Among the rowers in Mexico with local connections are UVic Vikes’ Kai Langerfeld in the men’s (heavyweight) four and eight, Joshua Morris in the men’s eight and Eric Bevan in the men’s double.

 

 

Just Posted

Documentary reveals Fernie’s role in WWI internment operations

That Never Happened to screen on 100th anniversary of Morrissey internment camp closure

Environmental monitoring meeting in Elkford tonight

Meeting to focus on environmental monitoring programs at Teck coal mines in the Elk Valley

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Elkford councillor Joe Zarowny remembered

The District of Elkford today announced the passing of long time councillor,… Continue reading

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Most Read