Squashing the competition

Robert McMynn slammed his racket against the glass. It was a Canada Winter Games squash encounter on Friday afternoon, and the Yukon competitor was…

Robert McMynn slammed his racket against the glass.

It was a Canada Winter Games squash encounter on Friday afternoon, and the Yukon competitor was playing P.E.I.

He was down eight-nothing.

And he was mad.

“If you keep missing a whole lot of shots in a row it gets frustrating,” said teammate Erik Jacobsen, watching in the stands.

“During my match I was really tired and angry — it’s not usually like that — it’s the pressure.”

The Yukon squash players aren’t used to competing as a team.

Batting the ball back and forth in a tiny room with an opponent makes squash a relatively solitary sport.

And this is how the Yukon players like it.

“I like it being an individual sport,” said player Jane Bell.

“I get mad with teams.”

The female team was there to cheer on the guys.

“I don’t like team sports,” added McMynn. “If you’re on a team and you’re the weakest link, then you let them down. And if you’re the strongest, it sucks because the weakest player lets you down.

“But on the court you don’t want to let yourself down — you give it your all and know you did your best.”

And this is what McMynn did.

Coming back from eight-zero, he controlled the court, whacking the black rubber ball to a nine-eight win.

“I pulled it together and came back — it feels good,” he said.

P.E.I and the Yukon were well matched.

“This might be the team’s first win,” said assistant coach Cameron Webber, watching the volleys from the sidelines.

The Games’ matches were randomly seeded and the Yukon team “had a tough row to hoe,” he said.

“We were up against some tough teams,” said Jacobsen.

“But they were all nice enough to rally with us — so it was good for the audience.”

Jacobsen’s match was tied one game apiece, when P.E.I pulled out.

Most of the island was still battling an illness that was floating around the athletes’ village.

“Matt (McNeil) was dehydrated from throwing up and he had to stop after two games,” said P.E.I.’s Greg Mcquaid.

Another of the team’s players forfeited his match with the Yukon entirely.

“He said he was going to play today,” said Mcquaid.

“But yesterday he beat New Brunswick in three games then went to the bathroom and started throwing up.”

Reaching for the bouncing ball, one of P.E.I.’s players skidded across the floor on his stomach.

It’s a fast game and the two players try to get out of each other’s way as the ball sails around the court.

It’s is a very ballistic game, said Webber.

“There’s lots of movement and stopping and starting.”

And there are lots of twisted ankles and knees from lunging.

“A lot of people I know started squash because they didn’t like any other sports,” said Yukon player Logan Small.

“And it’s really likeable.

“There’s more agility and skill required, rather than something like running.”

In squash, Ontario took the gold, Alberta the silver and bronze went to B.C.

The Yukon came in 11th.