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Canada Games an ‘experience of a lifetime’


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Donald DeWolfe was intrigued when he saw people rowing in the Charlottetown Harbour.

“I was an avid sailor and spent (a lot) of time on the water and I saw these people out rowing,” he said. “I thought, ‘Wouldn't it be awesome if I could go get a great workout in and spend some time where I love, which is on the water?”

He took up the sport three years ago and later this summer will represent Prince Edward Island at the Canada Games.

He was one of the 300 athletes, coaches and managers at Tuesday’s rally in Charlottetown in preparation for the Games, which take place July 28 to Aug. 13 in Winnipeg.

“You’re in for an experience of a lifetime,” said Peter Bolo, who will be attending his fifth Canada Games, this time as part of the mission staff. “It’s not a national championship in whatever sport you’re participating in. It’s Team P.E.I. and that’s what we’re here to celebrate tonight.”

DeWolfe remembers the early days of his rowing career.

“It was a challenge, but I love a challenge. It was fantastic,” he said.

“Lots of time spent swimming,” he laughed, “but we persevered.”

He will compete in the 2,000-metre double skull with Tristan Russell MacLean. He said before the rally he is looking forward to meeting new people, competing and representing the province.

“I’ve been getting more and more excited leading up to the Canada Games,” he said.

The rowers will have a final tune-up event this weekend when they travel to Dartmouth, N.S., for the Nova Scotia Sprints.

“We’ll essentially be simulating what it’s going to be like at the Canada Games,” DeWolfe said.

Soccer players Lauren Reeves and Ali Muise thanked parents, guardians, coaches, managers and teammates for their support andto  enable them to play the sports they love.

“The teammates we stand beside today are our extended family. They are who we turn to when we've had a tough game or when we need that extra little support,” one of them said. “There have been blood, sweat and maybe even a few tears shed, as we practised, competed and travelled, but I’m sure we wouldn't change a thing.”

More than 4,000 P.E.I. athletes have competed at the Canada Games during the past 50 years. Some of the 55 medallists were on hand for a special presentation during the games.

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