Team Sask concludes the 2019 Canada Winter Games in sixth place with 17 medals
RED DEER, AB (March 5th, 2019): After two weeks of intense competition between 3,600 athletes from across Canada in 19 different sports, the 2019 Canada Winter Games have concluded. With a total of 17 medals and 164.5 flag points, Team Sask has finished in sixth place in both medals and flag point standings. Flag points are awarded to each team, male and female, based on their final placing in that sport; the accumulation of those placings rank the thirteen provinces & territories on how well each did in all sports throughout the Games.
Team Sask finished in third place in Centennial Cup standings, with a 3 flag point improvement over the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC. The host province of Alberta captured the Centennial Cup, with its 24.5 improvement over points earned in 2015. The Centennial Cup recognizes the most-improved overall performance by a province or territory as compared to the previous Winter Games.
The first medal earned by Saskatchewan was done so in thrilling fashion, by Regina Biathlete Logan Pletz -- 2018 National Champion, Canadian Junior National Team member, and Opening Ceremony flag bearer for Team Sask -- in the men’s 12.5 km Individual event, where Pletz took first place after covering the course in 37:46.9 and missing only two targets out of 20. His February 21st podium performance was quickly followed by Martensville’s Alix Pierce and Saskatoon’s Rya Wiebe taking silver and bronze, respectively, in Artistic Gymnastics that same evening.
During week two, three of the province’s 17 medals were earned by Prince Albert Para Nordic Skiier Kryztle Shewchuk, who took home three bronze medals. Saskatoon’s Jesse Ehman also represented well in Para Nordic Skiing, earning bronze in the 2.5km Standing race -- just an hour before his cousin, Maximus Litzenberger of Saskatoon, earned bronze in the -60kg Judo final. Saskatchewan’s Judo athletes would add two more medals to the board, with Regina’s Justin McKay and Prince Albert’s Janessa Keays both taking bronze in their respective weight categories.
In Figure Skating, the Pre-Novice Pairs team of Tristan Taylor and Ashlyn Schmitz earned a bronze medal. The pair only began skating together in May of 2018, and with Schmitz living in Shellbrook and Taylor in Regina, it was necessary for the former to travel four hours on a regular basis to receive the high-level pairs training required to make the podium. Raine Eberl of Moose Jaw and Caidence Derenisky of Regina also medalled, earning silver in the Novice Pairs Mix event.
The Synchro Trampoline competition was a huge success for Saskatoon’s Ashley Anaka and Regina’s Hannah Metheral, who earned a gold medal in the event; both athletes compete in solo Trampoline events, but had only jumped together for the first time in a practice the day before their first-place performance.
Finally, Team Sask Archery had an outstanding Games, with all four members of its roster returning home with medals. Regina’s Jacob Bourassa earned bronze medals in both the Compound Individual event, as well as the Compound Team event with teammate J’lynn Mitchell, also of Regina. Regina’s Jay Gegner earned a silver in the Recurve Team event alongside Estevan’s Hunter Chipley, who also captured gold in the Recurve Individual competition following a suspenseful neck-and-neck match with Alberta archer Aaron Cox. Collectively, these performances marked a flag point increase of 10 points over Team Sask Archery athletes in 2015. As a result of his impressive showing, Chipley was named Closing Ceremony flag bearer, and led the team of 315 Team Sask athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff into the March 2 Closing Ceremony.
Other highlights of the Games for Team Sask included the men’s hockey team advancing to fourth place, its highest finish since the 1995 Canada Winter Games where the team won a gold medal and was captained by alumnus Patrick Marleau; Ella Fleury, the 104-year-old grandmother of Team Sask Ringette twin players Keala and Maya Fleury, knitting 22 green, white and black toques for the entire team; the Long Track Speed Skating pursuit team coming within 1 second of a Canada Games record; and countless many exciting performances and personal bests recorded by Saskatchewan’s young amateur athletes.
The following sports were contested throughout the 17-day duration of the Games:
The 2019 Canada Winter Games will stand as the largest event hosted in central Alberta since the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, and featured nearly 3,600 participants as well as more than 5,000 volunteers and 20,000 visitors.
The next edition of the biennial Canada Games, which alternate between summer and winter, will be held in the Niagara Region of Ontario during summer 2021, with the next Winter Games taking place in Prince Edward Island in 2023. The next roster of athletes representing Team Sask will be in action from August 9-18 at the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current, SK.
Athletes who compete at the Canada Games represent the country’s next generation of national, international and Olympic champions. Team Sask alumni and Olympic and Paralympic medalists Mark McMorris, Catriona Le May Doan, Brittany Hudak and Emily Clark can all count their previous Canada Winter Games experiences as a stepping stone to the highest levels of sport.
A Team Sask medal tally, stories and information can be found on the Team Sask website at teamsask.ca, and full results can be found at https://cg2019.gems.pro. Archived competition footage can be found at canadagames.live. Daily content can be found on Team Sask social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Photo galleries can be found via Jody Bailey here or via the 2019 Canada Games Flickr here.
The official 2019 Canada Winter Games website is located at canadagames.ca/2019.
“I am so proud of our entire team; Saskatchewan’s athletes put it all on the line to represent our province against the best in Canada. Thank you to the coaches, managers, technical support personnel and mission staff for supporting our teams so they could perform at their best and enjoy all that a Canada Games has to offer. A big thank you to Red Deer and their 5,000 volunteers for the enjoyable experience and for creating memories that will last a lifetime for our athletes. Once again, our team wore the green and white with such pride and passion and made me so proud to be from Saskatchewan.” Mark Bracken, Team Sask Chef de Mission
Games Services & Communications Lead
Saskatchewan Games Council
c: (306) 529-3120