Flagbearer Graves comes through with gold medal

February 18, 2011

By Kevin Mitchell, The Star Phoenix

Gymnast Curtis Graves was honoured when Team Saskatchewan chose him as their Canada Games flagbearer -honoured and a little nervous.

"I felt like I needed to prove myself (competitively), that I was the right person for it and that's what I tried to do today," Graves said Thursday night from Halifax. "Hopefully, it worked out."

It certainly did -the 18-year-old Saskatoon Taiso gymnast collected a gold medal on the parallel bars and a bronze on rings Thursday, helping run Saskatchewan's overall medal total from six to nine.

The wheelchair basketball team earned a bronze medal with a 58-56 win over Manitoba.

"It's one of the nicest medals I've gotten so far," the much-decorated Graves said while admiring his attractive new prize. "I really like it. And after just missing on the all-around, I really wanted to get one."

Graves had placed fourth in the all-around earlier in the week. He also failed to qualify in his specialty, the high bars, after making what he calls "a silly miskake."

Graves is the national junior champion on the high bars, so that failure to qualify was unexpected, but he made up for it later.

The Saskatoon gymnast, who also competed at the Games four years ago, was the fifth of eight competitors on the parallel bars Thursday. After putting up his score, he had to wait for the others to finish before learning his fate.

"I was waiting for the scores to show, hoping (the performance) would hold up," Graves said. "It did and I was like, 'OK, the job is done. I did it.' "

Graves also placed eighth on the pommel horse Thursday, while Saskatoon's Charlie Wright and Regina's Karisa Groff placed seventh and eighth respectively on women's beam.


Regina's Nikola Goncin scored 35 points and added 12 rebounds during Saskatchewan's 58-56 bronze-medal victory.

Regina's Adam Bryant added 18 points and 12 rebounds for Saskatchewan, which led 28-26 at halftime.


Saskatchewan's women's curling team, skipped by Rae-Ann Williamson of Regina, beat Quebec 7-4 in a crossover game Thursday.


Saskatoon's Liam Brandt Bundschuh placed 20th, Lloydminster's Nolan Merryweather 23rd, Saskatoon's Matt Paslawski 27th and Lloydminster's Aidan Merryweather 29th Thursday.


Saskatchewan's men's team beat New Brunswick 4-0 Thursday and will play Manitoba for fifth place today.

Debden's Craig Leverton scored twice for Saskatchewan, which also got singles from Swift Current's Zac Mackay and Regina's Tyson Predinchuk.


Ontario beat Saskatchewan 5-2 in a ringette semifinal Thursday.

Regina-based players Stephanie Zimmer and Alysha McEachern scored for Saskatchewan, which plays Quebec for bronze today.


In the women's short-track 1,500m, Saskatoon's Madeleine Yager placed 12th, Moose Jaw's Stephanie Kendall 24th, Saskatoon's Katie Kokotailo Waterer 27th, Saskatoon's Morgan Boutin 31st and Regina's Taylor Leugner 38th.

In the men's short-track 1,500m, Regina's Keegan Christ was 33rd, Saskatoon's Lucas Morin 34th, Nipawin's Jesse Slusar 35th and Regina's Alex Horst 38th.


In women's squash, Saskatchewan placed ninth in the final standings by beating Yukon 4-0.

The men's squash team placed seventh with a 4-0 win over Nova Scotia.


In men's air pistol, Jeremy Gyoerick just missed a medal with a fourth-place showing. Drew Nevland of Birch Hills placed seventh.

In women's air pistol, Prince Albert's Tasha Chester placed 15th and Prince Albert's Sasha Chester was 17th.

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