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

Alexa McQuaid carries the flag into the closing ceremonies at the Canada Games Sunday in Winnipeg.
Alexa McQuaid carries the flag into the closing ceremonies at the Canada Games Sunday in Winnipeg.

WINNIPEG, MAN. –  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.

TO SEE LARGER IMAGE, PLEASE CLICK/TAP ON PHOTO: Members of Team P.E.I. enter the Investors Group Field during closing ceremonies Sunday at the Canada Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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

TO SEE LARGER IMAGE, PLEASE CLICK/TAP ON PHOTO: Team P.E.I. helps keep beach balls flying around Investors Group Field during closing ceremonies Sunday at the Canada Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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@theguardian.pe.ca
www.Twitter.com/SportsGuardian

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