The first ever Canada Winter Games was held in Quebec City in 1967. The team representing Manitoba in Curling that year was the Ernie Boushey Rink that included third – Ina Light, second – Gary Deblonde, and lead – Betty Herd. The strong Manitoba team that had won four consecutive Manitoba Mixed and two Canadian Mixed Curling Championships finished second at the Canada Games bringing home a silver Medal.
Forty-Four years later in 2011, Ina Light was back at a Canada Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this time as a proud Grandmother of Derek Oryniak, the second on the Manitoba Team. After an exciting week of curling the Manitoba Team skipped by Kyle Doering, with Derek Oryniak playing second won a Bronze Medal.
Attending the games in Halifax, cheering on his older brother, was Weston Oryniak. On the flight home from Halifax Weston boldly announced his curling team would represent Manitoba four years in the future at the next Canada Games in Prince George B.C. in 2015. He even predicted his team would win the gold medal!
Well sometimes the stars align and four years later Weston playing second with skip Colin Kurz, third Ryan Lemoine, and lead Brendan Bilawka won the right to represent Manitoba. The team had a strong round robin and faced strong competition in the playoffs against future world junior champion Tyler Tardi and Ontario’s Matt Hall, another future World Junior Champion. Well as Weston predicted Manitoba beat Ontario 9-2 in the final to win the Gold Medal.
So after almost 5 decades the Light/Oryniak family had the full set of Canada Games Medals Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Curling has played a major role in the lives of our family and we feel so fortunate to have had many special shared experiences made possible by Curling. And for the record Grandma Ina still is curling at almost 87 and is still the best shooter on our spring mixed bonspiel family team!