Team P.E.I. strikes Canada Games silver in the pool

Alexa McQuaid wins Prince Ed­ward Is­land’s first medal at Canada Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - Ja­son Malloy

It’s a proud mo­ment for swim­mer Alexa McQuaid of Team P.E.I. as she takes the silver medal in the women’s 50-me­tre breast­stroke Tues­day evening at the 2017 Canada Sum­mer Games in Win­nipeg. It was the first medal of the Games for Team P.E.I.

Alexa McQuaid swam the best 50-me­tre race of her life and earned a silver medal in the process Tues­day at the Canada Games.

The 15-year-old Char­lot­te­town na­tive took al­most a sec­ond off her per­sonal best time in the breast­stroke, com­plet­ing the course in 33.48 to earn Prince Ed­ward Is­land’s first medal on the ninth day of com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s a great feel­ing,” she said mo­ments af­ter step­ping off the podium fol­low­ing the medal cer­e­mony.

“At the start I was a lit­tle ner­vous, but I re­ally just wanted to win a medal,” she said. “Getting silver was re­ally awe­some.”

McQuaid now shares a spe­cial ac­com­plish­ment with her mother.

Kather­ine (Josey) McQuaid won silver in the 100-me­tre freestyle at the 1985 Games in Saint John, N.B. They are the only two Is­landers to win a medal in the pool at the Games.

“It is very spe­cial to our fam­ily,” Kather­ine said. “It’s great to be able to share it with my daugh­ter.”

McQuaid fin­ished sec­ond in her heat dur­ing the morn­ing race with a time of 33.91. She talked with her mother a cou­ple of times dur­ing the af­ter­noon while pre­par­ing for the evening race.

“She had men­tioned she was re­ally ner­vous, but she re­ally wanted to get a medal, so I knew that she was go­ing to do what­ever she could to get one,” Kather­ine said.

McQuaid got off to a good start in the fi­nal, and head coach

Thomas Ponting said her stroke, tech­nique and turn-over were all good.

“She did ev­ery­thing she needed to do,” he said. “With all the nerves that were go­ing through her, she was still able to per­form.”

All the way through the race, McQuaid’s team­mates cheered her on from the pool deck. She looked over at them af­ter fin­ish­ing the race and was sur­rounded by them af­ter the medal cer­e­mony.

“They said they’d be cheer­ing

me on a lot dur­ing my race and af­ter they were just re­ally ex­cited and happy for me. It was re­ally nice,” she said, not­ing the sup­port’s im­por­tance.

“It mo­ti­vates you to swim faster.”

Ponting was proud of the team’s silver medal­list.

“I was just re­ally ex­cited for her be­cause she’s put in a lot of work and (dreamt) about that goal,” he said. “Now she knows all the work she did paid off.”

McQuaid said she started swim­ming seven years ago be­cause her sis­ter, Jacque­line, was in­volved and it looked fun.

She trains six days a week, and the sport in­cludes a lot of travel.

“Swim­mers work hard,” her mother said. “They are ded­i­cated ath­letes and they know what they need to do to win a medal at Canada Games.”

McQuaid still has six more races this week, in­clud­ing the 100- and 200-me­tre breast­stroke.

JA­SON MALLOY/THE GUARDIAN

JA­SON MALLOY/THE GUARDIAN

Alexa McQuaid of Char­lot­te­town proudly dis­plays her silver medal, P.E.I.’s first medal at the Canada Games, on Tues­day. McQuaid fin­ished sec­ond in the 50m swim and took al­most a sec­ond off her per­sonal best time in the breast­stroke.

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