It’s a proud moment for swimmer Alexa McQuaid of Team P.E.I. as she takes the silver medal in the women’s 50M breaststroke Tuesday evening at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg. It was the first medal of the Games for Team P.E.I.
©Jason Malloy/The Guardian
WINNIPEG, Man. - Alexa McQuaid swam the best 50-metre race of her life and earned a silver medal in the process Tuesday at the Canada Games.
The 15-year-old Charlottetown native took almost a second off her personal best time in the breaststroke, completing the course in 33.48 to earn Prince Edward Island’s first medal on the ninth day of competition.
“It’s a great feeling,” she said moments after stepping off the podium following the medal ceremony.
“At the start I was a little nervous, but I really just wanted to win a medal,” she said. “Getting silver was really awesome.”
McQuaid now shares a special accomplishment with her mother.
Katherine (Josey) McQuaid won silver in the 100-metre freestyle at the 1985 Games in Saint John, N.B. They are the only two Islanders to win a medal in the pool at the Games.
“It is very special to our family,” Katherine said. “It’s great to be able to share it with my daughter.”
A look at the final results from the 50-metre women’s breaststroke at the Canada Games:
1. Alberta - Avery Wiseman: 33.19.
2. Prince Edward Island - Alexa McQuaid: 33.48
3. Alberta - Pilar McCann: 33.49
4. British Columbia - Bailey Paula Herbert: 33.83
5. British Columbia - Sheigh Gaudette: 34.12
6. Ontario - Emma Myburgh: 34.15
7. Quebec - Amaya Sastron-Navarrete: 34.50
8. Newfoundland and Labrador - Emily Marie Ricketts: 35.04
McQuaid finished second in her heat during the morning race with a time of 33.91. She talked with her mother a couple of times during the afternoon while preparing for the evening race.
“She had mentioned she was really nervous, but she really wanted to get a medal, so I knew that she was going to do whatever she could to get one,” Katherine said.
McQuaid got off to a good start in the final, and head coach Thomas Ponting said her stroke, technique and turn-over were all good.
“She did everything she needed to do,” he said. “With all the nerves that were going through her, she was still able to perform.”
All the way through the race, McQuaid’s teammates cheered her on from the pool deck. She looked over at them after finishing the race and was surrounded by them after the medal ceremony.
“They said they’d be cheering me on a lot during my race and after they were just really excited and happy for me. It was really nice,” she said, noting the support’s importance.
“It motivates you to swim faster.”
Ponting was proud of the team’s silver medallist.
“I was just really excited for her because she’s put in a lot of work and (dreamt) about that goal,” he said. “Now she knows all the work she did paid off.”
McQuaid said she started swimming seven years ago because her sister, Jacqueline, was involved and it looked fun.
She trains six days a week, and the sport includes a lot of travel.
“Swimmers work hard,” her mother said. “They are dedicated athletes and they know what they need to do to win a medal at Canada Games.”
McQuaid still has six more races this week, including the 100- and 200-metre breaststroke.
Charlottetown's Alexa McQuaid receives her silver medal at the Canada Games in Winnipeg on Tuesday.
©Jason Malloy/The Guardian