‘Great op­por­tu­nity’

Is­land ath­letes en­cour­aged to make the most of their Canada Games ex­pe­ri­ence

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY

Prince Ed­ward Is­land ath­letes took flight Thurs­day for Win­nipeg to com­pete in the 2017 Canada Games.

A to­tal of 139 ath­letes, coaches and mis­sion staff caught a char­tered plane in the morn­ing while an­other 30 or so flew out of the Char­lot­te­town air­port in the af­ter­noon. All are com­pet­ing in week one of the Games.

The to­tal del­e­ga­tion num­bers 310, com­prised of 236 ath­letes, 59 coaches/man­agers/tech­ni­cal staff and 15 mis­sion staff. Team P.E.I. con­sists of 21 teams com­pet­ing in 16 sports.

Fran­cois Caron, Team P.E.I.’s as­sis­tant chef de mis­sion, says the ath­letes are in for a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s al­ways very ex­cit­ing, jovial and up­beat,’’ he says of the life in the ath­letes’ vil­lage.

“There’s al­ways a whole lot of en­ergy.’’

Caron notes the P.E.I. ath­letes re­al­ize they are fac­ing top­notch com­pe­ti­tion from across the coun­try dur­ing the Canada Games, which runs from Fri­day to Aug. 13.

“Gen­er­ally, what we try to do is com­pete well against the At­lantic prov­inces,’’ he says.

“Each team goes out there with their re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions.’’

Mar­i­lyn Steen, 16, of Stan­ley Bridge is not fret­ting over how she will place in moun­tain bik­ing.

“I’m just here to have fun,’’ she says.

“I’d be pleased with any re­sult be­cause just be­ing able to go to the Games will be awe­some.’’

Sonya Sheen is thrilled that both her daugh­ter, Mar­i­lyn, and her son Holden, 18, are com­pet­ing in moun­tain bik­ing at the Canada Games.

“I just think it’s re­ally won­der­ful,’’ she says.

Lau­ryn Reeves, 17, of Summerside hopes her soc­cer team can fin­ish fifth or sixth at the ma­jor sport­ing event.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited to meet peo­ple and com­pete at this level,’’ she adds.

“It should re­ally be fun.’’

Caron, who has served at chef de mis­sion for Team P.E.I. at many past Canada Games, says Prince Ed­ward Is­land tends to per­form a lit­tle bet­ter in in­di­vid­ual sports.

Caron of­fers the fol­low­ing part­ing ad­vice to the Is­land ath­letes as they get set to take part in a truly spe­cial sport­ing event:

“You’ve been pro­vided with a great op­por­tu­nity. Make the most of it.’’

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Mem­bers of Prince Ed­ward Is­land’s soc­cer team line up at the Char­lot­te­town Air­port Thurs­day morn­ing to catch a plane to Win­nipeg to com­pete in the Canada Games.

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Lau­ryn Reeves, 17, of Summerside was look­ing to en­joy a lit­tle sleep dur­ing her flight to Win­nipeg to com­pete in the 2017 Canada Games as a mem­ber of Team P.E.I.’s fe­male soc­cer team.

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