Winters nets Pan Am bronze

Former B.C. Games athlete in his 13th year with national team

Saanich's Fred Winters

Saanich's Fred Winters

It was only the Argentians and Americans that were really going to challenge Canada in the men’s draw of the recent Pan American Games volleyball tournament.

Not that Canada is scoffing at its bronze medal. But the home team truly believed the stage was set for a gold medal run in the Pan Am Games.

“We wanted gold,” said captain Fred Winters, who’s back in Saanich this week to visit friends and family. “It was the right setup for us, we had our A team, we were feeling good and we had home court. We felt we should at least be in the finals.”

Unfortunately, the draw didn’t go their way. Canada met Argentina in the semifinal, and the perennial top-10 team in the FIVB world rankings brought their A team, to boot.

U.S.A. lost to Puerto Rico and Brazil, and even though Brazil beat Argentina in the round robin, Canada’s belief was reinforced.

“We knew Brazil had their C team, they kept their top players at home to host World League finals,” Winters said. “I think Argentina and us were the two best teams, we just [drew them too early].”

In the end, Canada fell to Argentina in the semifinal but defeated Puerto Rico 3-1 to win bronze in front of almost 5,000 fans at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

It’s been an industrious career for the 32-year-old Winters, a one-time Claremont secondary student who was born and raised in Saanich but moved to North Vancouver when he was 16. A B.C. Summer Games athlete as a teen, Winters is now in his 13th summer with the national men’s volleyball team, following which he will return to Brazil to play another year of pro for Sada Cruziero.

Volleyball has taken Winters to the far corners of the world, the only continent he hasn’t competed in is Africa. The pro game has taken him to Europe, Asia and South America. He’s played internationally for Canada in North America and Australia.

For now, Winters has two weeks off until the national team begins training again on Aug. 13 in preparation for September’s World Cup in Japan. It’s the first of three Olympic qualifying opportunities in Canada’s future.

“The World Cup will be a great experience but it’s not so likely we’ll finish top two [necessary for an Olympic berth],” Winters said. “More important for us is the four-time Continental qualifier coming up in January.”

Otherwise, there’s a last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament Canada could attend in the spring, but no one is talking about that, he said.


Winters was one of many Greater Victoria athletes to earn medals at the Pan Am Games. Lambrick Park grad Jesse Hodges won gold with the men’s baseball team, track cyclist Evan Carey won gold in the men’s team sprint, Oak Bay’s Maddie Secco was part of the women’s field hockey bronze, St. Michaels University School grad Liz Fenje won gold in the women’s rowing pair, Vikes rower Kai Langerfeld won gold in the men’s four and eight (the latter with Michael Evans) and Vic City Rowing Club alum Rosie DeBoef won gold in the double. Both the Langford- and Saanich-based men’s and women’s rugby teams won gold, including homegrown players Phil Mack, Sean White and Mike Fualiefau, with the men’s side. Swimmers Ryan Cochrane (1,500m free, 400m free) and Hilary Caldwell (200m backstroke) won gold with Cochrane sharing bronze in the 2x400m men’s relay with Alec Page, while Jeremy Bagshaw took a bronze in the pool as well.



Just Posted

Research into the city of Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic shows things to be moving in the right direction. (Photo courtesy City of Victoria)
Data shows Victoria experiencing gradual economic recovery

Statistics for early 2021 show promising returns as Victoria 3.0 begins to take hold

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

Most Read