‘A celebration of sport’: Team Sask. claims 20 medals at Canada Winter Games

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The Canada Winter Games wrapped up on Sunday in Prince Edward Island, with Team Saskatchewan picking up 20 medals: three gold, seven silver, and 10 bronze, an improvement from the last winter games in 2019.

Team. Sask. closed out week one with 17 medals. They grabbed their first medal of week two in men’s judo with a bronze win on March 1. They won another bronze medal on March 2 also in judo, bringing their medal count to 19.

On March 4, Krystle Shewchuk won a bronze medal in the female five-kilometre para-Nordic sit ski, bringing the final medal count for team Saskatchewan to 20.

Shewchuk was also selected to carry the flag in the closing ceremony.

“I was a little bit shocked, I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s pretty awesome,” she said.

Team Saskatchewan’s Chef de Mission, Mark Bracken, said there were a few reasons for selecting Shewchuk to carry the flag.

“It’s about performance, but it’s also about somebody who’s a role model, somebody who has shown that they’re committed to Team Saskatchewan and sport in the province, so she just rose to the top for week two as somebody who should lead our contingent in for closing ceremonies,” he said.

Shewchuk said the experience at the Canada Winter games was “amazing.”

“I find their sit ski course here, too, has been probably the best one I’ve been on so far. So, it’s been really good. A great experience,” she said.

For Bracken, the biggest highlight of the games was watching the men’s gold medal hockey game go into double overtime. Although Canada lost, it was still a special moment for him.

“To see a hockey game go 23 minutes of three on three before somebody scores in overtime was just a crowd thriller, I was just so fortunate to have an opportunity to be there,” he said. “To get silver is phenomenal; we haven’t medaled in men’s hockey since 1995.”

Bracken said the Canada Winter Games was an incredible experience for the athletes, coaches, and support staff.

“Just some really outstanding performances by our athletes,” he said. “They came here, they performed, they had a great time, and so we can’t be happier with how our teams represented our province and performed over the span of the games.”

Bracken said he didn’t have one standout moment during the games, and said it was all special to him.

“It’s all special to me, I’ve always been a big fan of opening ceremonies at any games, when you see the entire country parade in in their provincial, territorial colours, and just emotional, and just such a celebration of sport and such a celebration of the whole country coming together through sport to perform,” he said.

The Canada Summer Games will take place in Saint John’s, N.L. in 2025.

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