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