The 2023 Canada Winter Games held in Prince Edward Island ended on March 5. Team Yukon finished their participation at the games with medals and sterling team and individual performances.
On the final day of the competition, the athletes recorded wins and successes. Special Olympics figure skater Michael Sumner, who won the gold medal on March 2, was named the Week 2 recipient of the Pat Lechelt award.
“The award is presented to one athlete each week who exemplifies the True Sport principles on and off the field of play,” according to a statement from Team Yukon.
This year’s games marked Sumner’s final Canada Winter Games.
On March 3, Team Yukon’s snowboarders were in action. They had to deal with fresh snow and slower conditions in the snowboard cross event, a style they don’t participate in often, according to a statement by the officials.
Connor Boland, Eli Wolsky, Lewis Bunce, Sascha Nelson and Riley Boland all competed in the qualifiers. Four of the five made it through to the next round where Bunce had the stand-out race placing third in his heat.
On the badminton courts, Yukon athletes took on New Brunswick in the team event. The team lost 5-0 but had good rallies against their counterparts.
Nico Fecteau and Bayly Scoffin were on fire as Yukon’s mixed doubles curling duo swept aside N.W.T in their final game 8-1.
The Yukon’s female hockey team defeated their N.W.T counterparts to place 11th. Alix Walchuk got the shutout, while Callie Quaile scored two goals. Sophie Leas, Taylor Bierlmeier, Rachel Kormendy and Sophie Drummond also each found the back of the net.
Team Yukon officials said it’s the team’s best result in recent games history.
During competition on March 3, Team Yukon said the territory’s archers shot in front of the largest crowd they’ve ever competed in front of.
“Day 14 consisted of match play, or one vs. one elimination, until a winner was decided,” the officials said.
Compound archer Sofija Jewell made it to the quarter-final, while Emmett Kapniuk lost by one point in the preliminary round. In recurve, Shiori Monzo fell in the preliminary round while Daniel Mead made it to the quarters but fell to his Alberta counterpart.
On the cross country trails, the team competed in the free mass start races. The women raced 10 kilometres and made the top 30 list.
Constance Lapointe placed 15th, Minty Bradford 17th, Sophia Giangrande 18th, Cheyenne Tirschmann 21st, Sophie Molgat 23rd, and Maude Molgat placed 28th.
The officials said Bradford had a breakthrough race which was one of the best she’s had.
The male team raced 15 kilometres but had a rougher day as many of them were sick, the team’s officials said.
Daniel Phillips-Freedman broke a pole the first lap but got a new one and battled hard to make up ground. Cole Germain was the top Yukon finisher, placing 24th.
On the penultimate day of the competition, March 4, Team Yukon enjoyed some more successes.
Team Yukon officials said the 2023 games introduced a new format in cross country skiing with the mixed gender 4×5 relays.
“It was also new that more than one team per contingent could compete,” the officials said in a statement.
Team Yukon’s Cole Germain, Constance Lapointe, Simon Connell and Minty Bradford secured ninth position for the team. The other two Yukon relay teams placed 12th and 13th.
The badminton team had their final game on March 4 as they took on the N.W.T. in the team competition. The team had a tough game, losing 3-2 and placing 13th overall.
The female judokas, Leah McLean, Kaylee Fortier and Jaymi Hinchey and Lia Hinchey fought in the team competition. McLean, Fortier and Lia Hinchey moved up in weight classes to compete in the event.
Team Yukon officials said the team fought hard against Alberta but couldn’t pick up a win, losing 10-0. However, against B.C., bronze medalist Jaymi defeated B.C. ‘s -57kg blackbelt.
The Yukon snowboarders wrapped up their games with the big air competition. Riley Boland missed the finals on the girls side, placing 9th while Stian Langbakk also placed 13th. In the women’s event, the top eight moved on; it was top 12 for the men’s division.
Tori Vollmer of the alpine team qualified in the 10th position.
The compound archery team of Emmett Kapaniuk and Sofija Jewell finished their games in seventh place. The duo lost to Ontario in the quarter-finals. Recurve archers Shiori Monzo and Daniel Mead placed eigth overall and also lost to Ontario in the quarter finals.
Team Yukon officials said March 4 also marked Mead’s birthday as the fans and participants at the archery venue sang and wished him well.
On the final day of the competition, the alpine ski team finished off their participation at the games in the ski cross event.
Mack Jenner had the strongest showing, making it through to the semifinals then placing third in the final.
As this year’s games ended, Team Yukon was led into the closing ceremonies by Week 2 medal winners Michael Sumner and Jaymi Hinchey.
Contact Patrick Egwu at email@example.com