The first week of the Canada Winter Games is now at a close
and it has been one very exciting and surprising week.
There were many winners, including Newfoundland's Lee Churchill,
who went on to win three gold medals in the individual cross-country
Krista O'Brien also from Newfoundland made it all the way
to the bronze medal match in judo. She won Newfoundland's fourth
medal, a bronze, despite an unfortunate injury. There was also
a remarkable showing from the Quebec team in fencing with the
"three muskateers" going undefeated.
From our experiences, the Canada Winter Games are not only
about who wins the gold medals, but many other aspects as well.
Some of these are sportsmanship, support from teammates, and
intense competition. No matter what sport we attended, from ringette,
to fencing, to artistic gymnastics, we saw these qualities in
Artistic gymnastics is probably one of the most exciting
sports to watch. While watching the men's competitions, we realized
that athletes do not give up when there's an obstacle standing
in their way. A team member from P.E.I. was injured during his
routine on the parallel bars. With still two more rotations to
go, he tried his best to continue on. On the high bar, he had
an impressive routine and tried his hardest to land. Though he
didn't land well, he did not stop there. The floor was next and
he did what he could and the spectators noticed his courage and
showed their support with enormous applause. We were extremely
impressed by him and he showed one of the most important qualities
of a Canada Games athlete.
We spent the entire week hiking from venue to venue in
hopes of discovering an interesting story, and not realizing
that it was right under our noses: the qualities of the Canada
Games athletes. We went to artistic gymnastics, fencing, ringette,
table tennis, and freestyle skiing.
During the week, we also went to see fencing. The two of us
were quite a pair when we walked into Memorial University and
realized that we had absolutely knowledge about this sport. Fortunately
for us, there were many people who were willing to help us out.
Jordan Smith, a member of the men's épée team from
Saskatchewan, explained the rules and techniques of fencing to
us. This just goes to show that the athletes are willing to make
their particular sport more accessible to the public.
Ringette was one of the most competitive sports we saw.
The girls showed how competitive they were by focussing their
energy entirely on the game. They also showed support for each
other by giving an encouraging hug whether they were losing or
We also learned about sportsmanship from our viewing of
fencing. When Elise Lassond won the gold for the female individual
épée, she showed outstanding sportsmanship towards
her opponent, Marion Laurence from Nova Scotia. She gave her
a gigantic hug, which was acknowledged and applauded by everyone
We didn't know what to expect when we attended table tennis.
Surprisingly enough, we were fascinated by the endurance of the
young athletes some whom were only eleven years old. One of these
athletes was Loren Hung of Saskatchewan who greatly impressed
us. Despite his small stature, he showed an amazing performance
demonstrating his incredible skill at the sport.
Lastly, the freestyle aerials was the place to be during
this first week of the games. The designated spectator area was
jam-packed with people of all ages. When we attempted to get
something for lunch, we could hardly make our way through the
crowds in the lodge! With the tremendous support from the public,
all of the athletes were able to fly high and showed great performances.
If anyone wonders why this event is so popular, they only need
to check out some of the shots that accompany this story.
Overall, this week has been one of many new experiences for
us. We learned about fencing and sports that we knew little about,
and the many positive qualities that were demonstrated by all
the athletes of all of their sports. Hopefully, we will experience
some of the same aspects and maybe many others next week. So
look for more of our impressions of The 1999 Canada Winter Games,
from the west Coast of Newfoundland, here at SNN!