Team P.E.I. shining

Jason Simmonds
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Big medal haul for Islanders at National Games on Friday

CORNER BROOK, N.L. – It’s been an exciting and rewarding week for Team P.E.I. here at the 2016 Special Olympics National Winter Games.

“I’m very proud of this group,” explained Team P.E.I. chef-de-mission Matthew McNally. “All of them have worked their tail off to get here, and they haven’t stopped.

“Each athlete in individual sports has attained personal bests, and some have won medals as well.”


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Double gold

Team P.E.I. members were frequent visitors to the medal podiums on Friday. Janet Charchuk of Alberton won double gold in the 200- and 400-metre snowshoeing events.

Also in snowshoeing, John Rafuse of Montague won gold in the 200 metres and bronze in the 400 metres.

Michael Morris of Charlottetown and Amie Sullivan of Montague claimed gold medals in cross-country skiing. Morris won the 100-metre event while Sullivan is a double-gold-medallist, winning the 100- and 500-metre races.


Personal bests

Earlier in the week, Ellen MacNearney of Montague won a bronze medal in the five-kilometre cross-country skiing event while registering a personal-best time of 31 minutes 30 seconds (31:30) .

Alyssa Chapman from Murray Harbour won gold in female Level 3 figure skating dance solo.

Chapman also competed in the Level 4 Division.

“Alyssa moved up a division, and she was in against tough competition,” said McNally “She finished fifth in her free skate today (Friday), which she was very proud of.”


Floor hockey

P.E.I. Warriors’ floor hockey team competed in the C Division. They defeated Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick to finish round-robin play 3-0 (won-lost).

“I’m very proud of this group. All of them have worked their tail off to get here, and they haven’t stopped. Each athlete in individual sports has attained personal bests, and some have won medals as well.” Team P.E.I. chef-de-mission Matthew McNally

“This places them in first place and a berth in the gold-medal game,” said McNally. “They face Newfoundland tomorrow (Saturday).”



P.E.I.’s curling team of Phillip Chugg of Stratford, Monique Gauthier of Charlottetown, Chris MacPherson of Charlottetown, John Anthony Laybolt of Mermaid and Shane MacPhee of Charlottetown has completed play.

“They were seeded in a higher division than the last National Games, which is an accomplishment in itself, and they finished fourth in that division,” offered McNally “They did not medal, but we are very proud of their efforts and being able to attain new personal-bests in that division.”


Busy day

Team P.E.I. will be busy on the final day of competition on Saturday.

The P.E.I. Warriors’ floor hockey team will face Newfoundland and Labrador in a gold-medal game, and Island athletes are also in the running for medals in individual sports.

In snowshoeing, Rafuse will be competing in the 100- and 800-metre finals while Charchuk will be competing in the 100-metre final.

MacNearncy will be racing for medals in the 2 ½-kilometre and one-kilometre events in cross-country events. Tommy Ling of Charlottetown will also compete in those two events as well.

Morris, Sullivan, Tommy Ling and MacNearney are racing in the C1-kilometre cross-country skiing event.



Organizations: National Games, Islanders

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Newfoundland and Labrador, Murray Harbour Alberta New Brunswick

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