Hometown Hero Maggie Coles-Lyster has been doing a lot of winning. (Special to The News)

Hometown Hero Maggie Coles-Lyster has been doing a lot of winning. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge’s best athletes in the spotlight in 2022

Olympics, Commonwealth Games and 1,000 games in the NHL

Maple Ridge has been noteworthy for an inordinate number of elite-level athletes, including all-time greats like Cam Neely, Larry Walker and Greg Moore. And 2022 saw local sports stars achieving at the highest levels of their sports.

Brandon Yip was the team captain of the first Chinese hockey team to take part in the Olympics.

Yip, 36, was the leader of the Kunlun Red Star, which is a proxy for the Chinese national team, that competes in Russian’s professional Kontinental Hockey League.

A former NHLer who played 174 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and Phoenix Coyotes, he was part of the Olympic games in February in Beijing, China. He has grandparents of Chinese descent, and was eligible to be on their national team roster for the Games. They didn’t win a game, but they put China on the hockey map.

Yip is having a good year in the KHL this season, with 18 goals and 34 points in 38 games played.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge’s Yip will captain Team China in Olympic hockey

ANDREW LADD

Two-time Stanley Cup champion Andrew Ladd hit a landmark 1,000 games played in the NHL in April. The 36-year-old out of Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey was playing on a knee that was all but rebuilt through three surgeries.

“I’m really proud to be able to play 1,000 games,” he was quoted as saying on the Arizona Coyotes website. “I was sitting in Bridgeport a couple years ago with this goal in mind to get back to playing NHL games again and ultimately hitting this milestone. To finally be here and see all that hard work and time that I put into getting back into this spot so I could have this opportunity is fulfilling to say the least.”

He won cups with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, was the captain of the Winnipeg Jets, and scored 256 goals and had 294 assists in 1,001 games.

Ladd has not been able to return to the ice this season.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge hockey icon hits 1,000 games

MAGGIE COLES-LYSTER

The summer brought the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and a bronze medal for cyclist Maggie Coles-Lyster. She took third place in the women’s scratch endurance race.

“This is incredible – it’s the first individual medal I’ve won and my first Commonwealth Games,” said Coles-Lyster. “My desire for this medal was strong enough to keep pushing through it and I almost felt like I was going to pass out. But that’s what you do out there when you want it bad enough.”

She is a member of a professional racing team based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and competes in road racing events across North America. Coles-Lyster has also competed in the new international cycling spectacle known as the UCI Track Champions League, and medalled in Europe with Team Canada at those events in November and December.

She is working toward qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

October brought back the annual hometown heroes night to Maple Ridge, which had been originally started to honour some of the many great athletes from Ridge Meadows.

COVID-19 had stopped the event twice, and one year two people were chosen to be honoured as local sports heroes one year, so on Oct. 12 four people were celebrated for their outstanding achievements in sports. One was Coles Lyster, therre were two sprint kayak racers with the Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club in Brian Malfesi and Sara Hopkins who had both competed in their sport internationally, and softball player Jaycee Affeldt who was a star pitcher in the NCAA.


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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