Team Yukon is heading off to the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.
More than 170 Yukon athletes, coaches and mission staff will represent the territory during Canada’s largest multi-sport competition from Feb. 18 to March 5.
Athletes from the territory will be competing in 15 of the 20 sports underway during the competition.
Archery and fencing are returning to the games, while karate and female boxing are making a debut.
Yukon hockey player Gavin McKenna will lead Team Yukon as flag bearer during the opening ceremonies on Feb. 18.
At just 14, McKenna was picked first overall in the 2022 Western Hockey League entry draft by the Medicine Hat Tigers. In December, his South Alberta Hockey Academy team won the Circle K Classic tournament where he was named an all-star. He tallied the most points and won the Most Valuable Player and Most Sportsmanlike awards.
“Our team is known for its hard work, sportsmanship and passion,” Team Yukon officials said. “All qualities you will see on display as they take the court, range, slopes, mat and track to compete.”
Team Yukon chef de mission Trevor Twardochleb said the games “are an important opportunity for Yukon athletes to compete to their highest ability against the country’s best.”
Team Yukon recently finished top of the medal tables at the Arctic Winter Games in Wood Buffalo, Alta. The team won 169 medals as Team Alaska and Team North Alberta secured second and third place with 145 and 144 medals respectively. A number of Yukon athletes who attended the Arctic Winter Games will also represent the territory at the Canada Winter Games.
Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn said he’s hopeful the athletes will carry the momentum the team built at the Arctic Winter Games to P.E.I.
“The Yukon government is proud to support the territory’s athletes as they grow as skilled competitors and as inspiring community leaders,” he said.
The Canada Games alternate between winter and summer every two years. Over 3,000 athletes, coaches and mission staff from across Canada will attend the games.
The Yukon has been sending the territory’s young athletes to Canada Games since 1967, when the first Canada Winter Games were held in Quebec.
Contact Patrick Egwu at firstname.lastname@example.org