Mary Paridaen van Veen comes from a family with strong connections to the swimming community in the Cowichan Valley. And it is this family involvement that makes her first gold medal win at the Cowichan 2018 BC Games even sweeter.
Mary’s father, David van Veen, is volunteering as the meet manager of the swimming competitions while her sister, Sophie, is volunteering alongside him at the pool.
On Friday, Mary brought home a gold for Zone 6 at her home pool, the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, with teammates and coaches from her local swim club cheering her on.
“I’m so proud of Mary,” says her mother, Margaret Paridaen. “She has been swimming since she was five years old and is calm and cool under pressure.”
Mary’s first gold of the BC Summer Games came in the girls 14 and under 200m butterfly, her first of six races at the Games.
All three members of the Duncan Stingrays swim team that competed at the Summer Games — including Mary Paridaen van Veen, Bridget Burton and McKinley Thomas-Perry won at least two medals.