Canada Games wrap up in Win­nipeg

Team P.E.I. full of pride as Week 2 and the event come to a con­clu­sion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY ja­son.mal­loy@the­guardian.pe.ca www.Twit­ter.com/Sport­sGuardian

As beach balls flew around In­vestors Group Field and coun­try mu­sic played, Sarah Mur­phy felt a change.

She was one of 140 Week 2 Is­land del­e­gates to take part in Sun­day’s clos­ing cer­e­monies of the Canada Games in Win­nipeg.

“I felt like it got to the point where it wasn’t about the teams any more,’’ said Mur­phy, an in­door vol­ley­ball player from Char­lot­te­town.

“It was kind of about one na­tion and where we’re all to­gether here to have fun and just to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The clos­ing cer­e­monies ended the two-week athletic event.

Swim­mer Alexa McQuaid, who won the prov­ince’s lone medal Tues­day when she fin­ished se­cond in the 50-me­tre breast­stroke, car­ried the Is­land’s flag into the clos­ing cer­e­mony.

Wrestlers Chris­tian Mac­Don­ald, Jesse Heartz and Ben Tan­ton fin­ished fourth on Fri­day night. There were also many per­sonal bests set along the way.

And while there is a lot of em­pha­sis put on medal counts, ath­letes are learn­ing more than wins and losses dur­ing the twoweek Games.

“There are all kinds of trans­ferrable lessons,’’ chef de mis­sion Brian McFeely said.

He said it was an ex­cep­tional two weeks for Is­land ath­letes and he can see im­prove­ments in the com­pet­i­tive­ness of its teams and ath­letes.

“When I look back over time, I just sense our teams are much bet­ter pre­pared,’’ he said.

McFeely will pro­vide a re­port to the provin­cial Canada Games com­mit­tee with ob­ser­va­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions from his time in Win­nipeg.

He is also a co-chair­man of the prov­ince’s bid com­mit­tee to host the 2023 Canada Games. Be­ing in Win­nipeg pro­vided him an opportunity to ob­serve how things were done.

“These have been re­ally a very, very, very good Games,” McFeely said.

“There were some lo­gis­ti­cal is­sues with the size of the foot­print.”

Win­nipeg is the largest cen­tre to ever host the Canada Games, which made get­ting from venue to venue a bit of a chal­lenge.

De­spite that, McFeely said ath­letes, coaches and man­agers made a con­certed ef­fort to get out and sup­port their fel­low Team P.E.I. mem­bers.

“I was re­ally pleased with the level of sup­port for each other that we’ve seen through­out the two weeks,’’ he said.

Four Is­land ath­letes have been in Win­nipeg since July 27. Broth­ers Lo­gan and Ben MacDougall played base­ball dur­ing Week 1 and in­door vol­ley­ball the se­cond week. Ethan Boyd went from beach vol­ley­ball to in­door vol­ley­ball while J.T. Ni­chol­son was in­volved in both weeks of cy­cling.

The MacDougalls will be home for 36 hours be­fore leav­ing for Lon­don, Ont., for the midget base­ball na­tion­als.

Mur­phy said there are many mem­o­rable mo­ments she will long re­mem­ber from her time in Win­nipeg.

“I’m going to re­mem­ber all the funny jokes we did in our rooms, the trips we did to the meal hall,’’ she said.

“Yeah, the play­ing time was amaz­ing, but it’s all the mem­o­ries that you make out­side the court that I find that are going to last for­ever.’’

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

P.E.I. sil­ver medal­list Alexa McQuaid car­ries the flag into the clos­ing cer­e­monies at the Canada Games in Win­nipeg.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

It was a fes­tive at­mos­phere among P.E.I. ath­letes as the Canada Games of­fi­cially came to a close on Sun­day in Win­nipeg.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

P.E.I. ath­letes take part in the clos­ing cer­e­monies at the Canada Games on Sun­day in Win­nipeg. Brian McFeely, P.E.I.’s chef de mis­sion, said it was an ex­cep­tional two weeks for Is­land ath­letes and he can see im­prove­ments in the com­pet­i­tive­ness of its teams and ath­letes.

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