WINNIPEG, MAN. – Silver medallist Alexa McQuaid will lead Team P.E.I. into Sunday’s closing ceremony at the Canada Games in Winnipeg.
It caps off a week that saw the 15-year-old Charlottetown swimmer finished second in the 50-metre breaststroke on Tuesday with a personal best (PB) time of 33.48. She added a PB Thursday in the 100-metre breaststroke A final, finishing in 1:14.97.
“It’s really exciting,” said McQuaid, noting it will be an honour to carry the province’s flag for P.E.I. athletes. “I think it’ll be really cool.”
McQuaid immediately agreed to carry the flag when was asked Friday by chef de mission Brian McFeely.
“I think she’s a great representative of all of the athletes who have been here over the last two weeks,” he said. “It just makes sense that she will lead us into the closing.”
McFeely didn’t know McQuaid before this week, but did know her mother, Katherine (Josey) McQuaid, and was present when she won a silver medal at the 1985 Canada Games in Saint John, N.B. The mother-daughter combo is the only Islanders to win medals in the pool at the Canada Games.
Asked what stood out in the hours after McQuaid won the medal, McFeely didn’t hesitate.
“That great big smile never left her face,” he said.
McQuaid’s previous best swimming result came last year in New Brunswick where she qualified for the Eastern Canadian championships. She entered this season with big expectations.
“Winning a medal at the Canada Games was one of my main goals,” she said, noting a sense of satisfaction to achieve it. “It feels really good.”
McQuaid said she received lots of support from around campus and back home in Prince Edward Island since her medal-winning swim.
“Different athletes on Team PEI said ‘Good job’ and I got a lot of text messages,” she said.
The closing ceremony begins at 4 p.m. Atlantic at the Investors Group Field, home of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The two-hour show will see Alberta country singer Brett Kissel, Winnipeg entertainer Fred Penner and Manitoba fiddler Sierra Noble take to the stage.