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CANADA GAMES: Triumphant return

Team P.E.I. home after representing province in Alberta


Kristen Arsenault and Mikey Perry walked into the Charlottetown Airport together with their medals proudly around their necks Sunday night as Team P.E.I. arrived home from the Canada Games.

“It’s amazing to be here and see all the support from everyone,” said Arsenault, a 16-year-old Abram-Village native who won a silver medal in archery in Red Deer, Alta.

“It feels great to be home. Everyone is here supporting us,” said Perry, a 14-year-old Brackley Beach native who earned a bronze in judo.

The two didn't know each other before their athletic accomplishments during the past week brought them together. They were selected to be the province’s flag-bearers for Saturday’s closing ceremonies.
“It was a bit nerve-racking because there was a lot of people,” Perry said.

“It was incredible,” Arsenault said. “It was so nice to have him there by my side. . . He’s a great guy and I am so glad we get to do this together.”

The past two weeks saw the Island’s top young athletes perform with the country’s best. They earned two medals, set plenty of personal bests and represented themselves well on and off the playing field.

“One of the things I heard more than anything else was how respectful and how thankful . . . Islanders were to the volunteers,” said Neil Robertson, who was the Island snowboard team’s technical support during the Games.

He carried signs into the closing ceremonies thanking the City of Red Deer for hosting the Games. Robertson said they were making signs in the cafeteria at suppertime on Saturday when someone suggested thanking Red Deer.

“I was just like, ‘Oh yes, we sure should’,” he said.

For him it was the 5,000 volunteers who he wanted to express some gratitude towards.

“Everywhere you went, they were very supportive,” he said. “It made sense to try and send a thank you.”

It was Arsenault’s second trip to the Games. She was 12 when she attended the 2015 Games in Prince George, B.C., and said this time was a much different experience.

“At that point it was more just for a learning experience and for fun,” she said.

But she was a little scared in 2015 and only wanted to compete in her sport.

“This time around I decided to have a mindset of not saying no to things,” she said. “I had a lot more fun.”

Arsenault said she has learned a lot from the Games, including new shooting techniques and how to cope with pressure situations like a medal round. She also made new friends and created lasting memories.

“It impacts your life forever,” she said.

Mother nature was a consistent point of conversation in Red Deer.

“It was very, very cold,” Arsenault said. “We got here, and we all wanted to put on T-shirts and shorts.”

Final medal standings

                                    G         S          B          Total

Quebec                       65        41        40        146

Ontario                        18        43        44        105

Alberta                        36        33        31        100

British Columbia         30        28        29        87

Manitoba                      9          7          9          25

Saskatchewan             3          3          11        17

Nova Scotia                1          6          4          11

New Brunswick           1          3          5          9

Newfoundland and Labrador 1          0          0          2

Prince Edward Island  0          1          1          2

Northwest Territories  0          0          1          1

Yukon                         0          0          1          1

Nunavut                     0          0          0          0

Up next – The 2021 Canada Games will be held in the Niagara Region of Ontario and will be a summer event. The next winter Games will be held in 2023 in Prince Edward Island.

By the numbers:

• More than 3,600 participants

• 5,000 volunteers

• 20,000 visitors to Red Deer, Alta.
• 19 sports

• 10 nights of cultural entertainment


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