Team Yukon heads home after making waves at Canada Games
Team Yukon athletes were heading home on Monday after the Canada Games — and bringing some hardware with them.
Yukoners won three medals at the two-week event that wrapped up on P.E.I. on Sunday night.
Mike Sumner picked up gold for the territory in Special Olympics figure skating, while Jaymi Hinchey won bronze in her weight class in judo and Cole Germain and Cheyenne Tirschmann also won bronze in biathlon.
"It's been an absolute blast these two weeks," said Trevor Twardochleb, chef de mission for Team Yukon.
"Some people get caught up in medals and results and I don't tend to — but at the same time, we had the medals, and then we had a lot of near-misses."
Twardochleb said he was especially pleased to see Sumner earn his medal. The 26-year-old has competed in the Canada Games twice before, but it's his first medal. These were also his last Canada Games.
Sumner said he was honoured and proud to represent Yukon at the games, and to win a medal.
"It means the whole world to me," he said.
"I think I had one of the best skates to date because I was mentally and physically prepared for it, thanks to my good coach."
Sumner was also honoured with the Pat Lechelt True Sport Award, given to an athlete who exemplifies the games' principles of sportsmanship, and was Team Yukon's flag-bearer at Sunday night's closing ceremonies, along with Hinchey.
Speaking after her own bronze-medal win last week, Hinchey said she was surprised to find herself on the podium.
"I never thought I would get to that point," she said.
"All the other people on the podium with me were really high-level, so it was really extra-exciting."
Hinchey also said the whole team did well, even though they were competing against provinces with more athletes to choose from and much bigger judo clubs.
"So that was really exciting, to have such a small place perform so well at a big tournament like that," she said.
Twardochleb also sang the praises of the games' hosts on P.E.I., saying how welcoming everybody there was. The whole event seemed to come off without a hitch, he said.
And he called the Team Yukon athletes "great ambassadors."
"It just makes you proud to be from a place that raises good kids, good athletes, and yeah, just good humans overall. It warms your heart," he said.