Year in Review: Top 5 Richmond sports moments of 2012

Clockwise from top: Richmond A1 Blues; Katie Chan; Mitchell Gordon, flanked by coaches Eileen and Keegan Murphy; Darcy Marquardt; Brandon Kirk. - Richmond Review
Clockwise from top: Richmond A1 Blues; Katie Chan; Mitchell Gordon, flanked by coaches Eileen and Keegan Murphy; Darcy Marquardt; Brandon Kirk.
— image credit: Richmond Review

Picking the top sports moments, featuring Richmond athletes, in 2012 is a monumental task. There are so more athletes and teams deserving of consideration, but we had to narrow it down. So, we present to you our five noteworthy sports moments of the past year.

Silver belle

Christmas came early for Richmond’s Darcy Marquardt and Canada’s women’s eight rowing team.

Marquardt, 33, and her teammates won silver medals by placing second to the vaunted Americans Aug. 2 at the Olympic Summer Games in London, England. Canada, which won gold at a World Cup race in Lucerne, Switzerland in July in a final Olympic tune up which the U.S. did not participate in, also placed second to the Americans by a mere 3/100th of a second at a World Cup race in May.

For Marquardt, who originally intended to retire following the Beijing Games, the London Olympics were her third. She also narrowly missed reaching the podium at the 2004 Games in Athens, placing fourth in the women’s pairs event.

Moment in sun

It was quite a summer for the Richmond Chuckers Midget AAA baseball team—especially two of its pitchers. Nawid Yilmaz threw a rare perfect game in the Okanagan last May, and just a few weeks later Brandon Kirk tossed a no-hitter in a victory over the Victoria Eagles.

Skater wins Canadians

Connaught skater Mitchell Gordon, 15, topped his division for the second year in a row at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships by winning the junior men’s title at the Moncton Coliseum. Third after the short program, he wowed the crowd with a spectacular performance in the free program.

Chan joins NHL all-stars

Katie Chan’s fast feet and artistry earned the nine-year-old Seafair minor hockey player a ticket to the NHL all-star celebrations last January in Ottawa. She finished second overall among Novice girls in one of 15 regional qualifiers and had the third fastest time among all skaters to earn an all-expenses paid trip to the NHL Skills Competition and NHL All-Star Game courtesy of Canadian Tire.

Blues end lengthy drought

A 14-year drought finally ended last New Year’s Eve when the Richmond A1 Blues won the Richmond International Midget Hockey Tournament’s Tier 1 Division title with a 4-0 victory over the Alaska Wolves U16AAA. It was the first time a host team had won a division title in more than a decade.

The Blues were led by the spectacular goaltending of tournament MVP Chris Clute and the inspirational play of captain Mark Pearlman. Richmond went 7-0 over six days of play.

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