LANTZ/FALL RIVER: Two local athletes are eager for week two of the 2023 Canada Games in PEI so they can begin competition, and make memories.
Fall River’s Grace McIntyre and Lantz’s Martin Visser will be competing on the ski hill for Team Nova Scotia at Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park at Brookvale in cross country skiing and snowboard, respectively.
The two are among approximately a dozen athletes from the Waverley/Fall River/Beaver Bank and East Hants area that will don the Team N.S. colours while representing the province at the Games, hosted by PEI.
There will be competitions held in Halifax (long-track speed skating) and at Crabbe Mountain (alpine skiing) in N.B.
Visser, who is currently in northern N.B. training, said he is excited for the opportunity.
“This is going to be a great event,” said Visser. “I’m going with an awesome group of athletes.”
He, like so many of the athletes, will also try to soak everything up.
“I’m hoping to enjoy the experience and may run into my second cousin who is coming with B.C.,” he said.
Visser said the lacklusture winter has made training difficult for him and his teammates.
“The lack of winter has made it hard to train, but it’s still going to be an amazing experience,” he said. “I feel lucky to be part of it.”
McIntyre will be competing at her second Canada Games on the cross-country team. She’s excited about it. Cross-country skiing starts Feb. 28 and competes right until March 5 in various events.
“There are so many phenomenal athletes participating,” she told The Laker News. “It will be such a fun experience to be part of.”
McIntyre, who competes with the University of Ottawa Gee Gees ski team, said training over the past four years has been interesting and the hard work will show in PEI.
“It will be a special event to conquer with teammates and friends,” she said. “We are all looking forward to it!.”
With the U of Ottawa, McIntyre—and Emma Archibald—have lots of opportunities for skiing, including taking advantage of the facilities and coaches helping do a lot for the team. Also Mother Nature seems kinder to them than in N.S.
“Having snow earlier on in the season is different compared to Nova Scotia training, but in a good way,” said McIntyre.
She was asked if she has any concern regarding the lack of snow in PEI for the cross country skiing events to run as they should. She isn’t concerned,
In fact it could be an advantage for the Maritime athletes, said McIntyre.
“They have worked hard to get the venue ready for us and have been making snow whenever possible,” said McIntyre. “I think that if there is minimal snow, the Maritime provinces will have a slight advantage due to the fact that we are so used to having less than ideal conditions for training and racing.
“We will be prepared.”
McIntyre can’t wait to get to the Island for competition in week two (Feb. 27 to March 5).
“We have a great group of people on our team who are ready to represent the province,” she said. “I think I speak for everyone when I say that we can’t wait.
“There will be some great racing and lots of fun memories to be made.”
The athletes representing our coverage area include:
Renae Boutilier, Beaver Bank
Maya MacDonald, Fall River
Lauren Arnold, Windsor Junction
Jillian Marks, Beaver Bank
Sierra Eshouzadeh, Beaver Bank/Lower Sackville
Connor Foston, Beaver Bank
Drew Allison, Fall River
Martin Visser, Lantz
Alpine Skiing (Crabbe Mountain, N.B.)
Caroline Hilton, Waverley
Freestyle Skiing (Crabbe Mountain, N.B.)
Renée Gauthier, Windsor Junction (moguls)
Xander Brown, Beaver Bank
Cross Country skiing:
Jack MacMillan, Fall River
Emma Archibald, Fall River
Grace McIntyre, Fall River
The team is led by Chef de Mission Lori Lancaster of Fall River.
Artists such as Classified of Enfield; Waverley’s Mo Kenny; and Dee Dee Austin of Fall River are among the performers that will play during the IllumiNATION Festival at the Port of Charlottetown and other venues across the Island.
More info on the music festival here: https://www.2023canadagames.ca/festival