Charlottetown kicks off Canada Games countdown with flag raising

Published on May 18, 2017

The City of Charlottetown officially raised the Canada Games flag at City Hall on Wednesday. Some of the athletes with Team P.E.I. took part and were also given smaller Canada Games flags. From left, are Karlyn Shea, Savannah Maclachlan and Nathan Purchase.

©Dave Stewart/The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Savannah Maclachlan of Bonshaw was overjoyed and nervous when she recently found out she made P.E.I.’s wrestling team for the Canada Games.

“Oh my, I’m super excited but at the same time I’m really nervous to go out there because when I’m out there it will be just me and my opponent,’’ Maclachlan said.

Maclachlan and a few other athletes in a variety of sports attended a flag-raising ceremony Wednesday at City Hall in Charlottetown.

As of today, there are 71 days to the opening ceremonies in Winnipeg. The Games take place July 28-Aug. 13.

Seeing the flag go up makes it seem a bit more real.

“It’s putting me in the mindset that I have to start getting ready for this,’’ Maclachlan said. “(It’s) putting me in the mental state for it so I can go out there and beat some people.

“I’m ready. I don’t want to go out there and be nervous because if I go out there and be nervous the opponent is going to know and they are going to walk right over me. I want to go out there and make them nervous.’’

Wrestling teammate Karlyn Shea of Elmsdale says making the team is proof that hard work pays off.

Shea has already established a goal for herself and is getting the necessary attitude geared up as well.

“. . . to win at least one or two fights and give ‘em hell,’’ Shea said.

When asked what she felt when she saw the flag go up at City Hall, Shea simple said “the rush is starting’’.

Nathan Purchase of Montague, who made the baseball team, says he’s never been more focused. He knows exactly how many days there are until the opening ceremonies.

“It means 72 days until I can get on the field,’’ Purchase said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to, playing top-level teams rather than just local teams; putting my skills to the (test against) next-level future athletes such as myself.’’

Purchase said he’s been putting in a lot of work to get ready for these Games.

“It’s been every night at the gym, four nights a week training at the indoor complex in Stratford the whole winter and now we’re just getting on the field.’’

Charlottetown Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy represented the city at the flag raising.

“It is always exciting to have these young athletes here at City Hall to wish them well as they venture onot the national stage in their chosen sport,’’ Duffy said.

Brian McFeely, Team P.E.I.’s chef de mission, said the Island delegation had a chance recently to check out the facilities in Winnipeg.

“I think things are progressing very, very well and I think this is going to be a tremendous Canada Games (with) the whole 150th anniversary of the country and the 50th anniversary of the Games,’’ McFeeley said.

McFeeley has been involved with Team P.E.I. at the Games before, and it never gets old.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you do it, and I’ve done it many times, when you walk in (during the) opening ceremonies there is goosebumps down your spine.’’

The final registration date is yet to come for Team P.E.I. but McFeeley said most teams are paring down to their final rosters at this point.