Louella Long, BC Seniors Games, Kelowna, pickleball
Louella Long’s two gold medals from this summer’s BC Seniors Games in Kelowna. Her medals were won in women’s single badminton and doubles badminton. Photo: Chris Parker

McBride’s Louella Long competed in the BC Seniors Games in August, and added two gold medals, one each in women’s singles and doubles in badminton, to her lifetime trophy haul.

Born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Long moved to Vancouver early in the war years. During the latter portion of her high school years she belonged to the Pacific Track Club and qualified as a 17 year old to be one of only seven female athletes to represent Canada at the Helsinki, Finland in the 1952 Olympics. There she competed in the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints, the 80 metre hurdles and the 4 x 100 m relay. She plays down her success but highlights her enjoyment of sports in general and her love of friendly competition.

On her return from Helsinki, Long entered the Nursing program in Vancouver and became friends with Ray Long’s sister. She took a job at the McBride Red Cross Hospital and ultimately married Ray. Now, 56 years later or ‘forever’ as she quipped, she continues to make her home in McBride and lives on a farm just east of the Village. The 500 acre farm is principally a cattle operation and keeps the family very busy.

Louella Long, BC Seniors Games, Kelowna, pickleball
Louella Long poses with one of her two gold medals won August.
To maintain her fitness Long has over the years played a number of sports including basketball, field hockey, cross country skiing and badminton amongst others. She regularly plays challenge matches between Jasper, Lamming Mills and McBride. With the advent of the BC Senior Games, Long was challenged to represent this region in both the singles and ladies doubles events. She continues to play Badminton most Tuesday nights and occasionally plays pickleball on Wednesday evenings, which helps maintain her fitness level.

The BC Seniors Games were held in Kamloops this year, with over 3000 senior athletes gathering to challenge one another in various events.

Long, through her love of sport and willingness to teach, continues to effuse others with her skill and enjoyment and continues to give back to her community. Congratulations and Best Wishes for continued success.

By Chris Parker