When results of his many athletic achievements have been written up, Langley’s Mitchell Gibbs is usually recorded as a Surrey athlete.
It isn’t completely wrong.
While he hails from Walnut Grove, Gibbs has won his honours while competing for Surrey’s Pacific Academy, and more recently, for the Vancouver Thunderbirds track team’s Surrey training group.
And the honours have been considerable, among them, Gibbs bringing home multiple medals as a Zone 3 team member in the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan valley, and as a Team BC Member at the 2018 Legion National Youth track and field championships.
Now, he will be running, and jumping, under an athletic scholarship to UBC, which put the welcome mat out on Twitter in late January.
Welcome Mitchell Gibbs to the horizontal jumps group! pic.twitter.com/bcdOTKXZ3L
— UBC Track & Field (@ubctrack) January 27, 2021
Julie-Anne Sillars, Pacific Academy high school track and field head coach, watched Gibbs develop into a nationally ranked athlete in 100m, 200m, and long jump events, but it was his off-the-field character that really impressed.
“I have seen him countless times while at the track volunteering to help the BC officials set up mats, rake, measure and generally fill in if there is a need at all of the meets that we attend,” Sillars said in a letter of support for another scholarship application by Gibbs.
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“At the end of every race/event he partakes in he ensures to go up and shake his fellow competitors’ hands, whether it is a win or a loss, and also takes the time to thank the volunteer officials as well. He is well liked and respected by all.”
Thunderbirds coach Iuliana Kroeger described Gibbs as a “stellar” student who is a “leader in school and on the track.”
“From the beginning, he looked like an athlete with potential,” Kroeger told the Langley Advance Times.
John Gay, manager of the Vancouver Thunderbirds club, called Gibbs a “precocious and determined” athlete, citing a motivational video that Mitchell created during the height of lock-down restrictions “in which he admonished his teammates and the wider community to stay active and embrace their circumstances for the best.”
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