NIAGARA, ONT.: For Sloan MacKenzie, not even a bit of sickness could slow her down at the Canada Games.
At the Games, which wrapped up on Aug. 21, the Windsor Junction product nabbed four gold medals for Nova Scotia, which was dominant on the waters. She tied fellow Cheema athlete and friend Jacy Grant of Wellington in total gold medals won. Grant also had a silver medal.
After Canoe 22, MacKenzie said she had a bit of a sickness and started to feel better before arriving in Niagara, so she was unsure what to expect out of her body in the heat race.
“I was a bit worried, but I felt good yesterday,” she said on Aug. 19 from Niagara. “I went to the heat, didn’t really know what to expect, but I gave it my best and the heat was good.
“I got pumped up for the final and just went for it.”
MacKenzie and Andrew Billard made history at the Canada Games by winning the first-ever gold medal in Mixed C-2, 500-metres. It was the first time ever raced at the Games.
She also teamed with Jacy Grant of Wellington to win gold in C-2, 200 metres; while also winning individual gold in C-1, 200 metres. MacKenzie added gold in the IC-4, 500-metres with Grant; Julia Lilley Osende of Dartmouth; and Jessica Mackay, of Halifax.
She spoke about what it meant for her to do so well at the Canada Games.
“I think that doing well comes from hard training that I’ve done all year,” said MacKenzie, a Lockview High alum. “I put in a lot of effort this year into my training and how I paddled. I think it showed and was key to the Games.”
She had never been to a multi-sport event, so found attending the Canada Games was nice as she got to enjoy other sports during her off time.
“I think the Canada Games is a really fun event to attend just because it’s multi sport,” she said.
MacKenzie, like Grant, was asked why she thought N.S. was so dominant on the waters in Niagara.
“I think that all the athletes here trained really hard and were really excited to come and compete,” she said. “Everyone’s just giving it their best.”
There was a boisterous cheering crowds for those on the water from N.S. That helped push each of them, said MacKenzie.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “If you can hear them on the water, I think it gives you that extra little push at the end of the race.”
She wanted to pass along some thanks to those who helped get her to where she is now, as she continues on to Under-23’s and more on the international competition stage.
“I want to thank my family and all the coaches. I want to thank Mike Kerrivan, my coach at Cheema, and everyone at Cheema for all their support.”