Upon their return from the games, the athletes were extended the opportunity to enter an essay contest; the prize, a $50 gift certificate from Crossed Swords Fencing Equipment. The essay was to detail their experience at the 2003 Canada Winter Games. The Executive Committee voted and decided to award a $25 certificate to two winners of the contest. The winning entries were submitted by Chloe Tang and Daria Jorquera Palmer. Congratulations to you both!

Canada Winter Games Experience

by Chloe Tang

             There are many words I could use to describe my experience at the Canada Winter games 2003 To list them all would take up a lot of this page, but the two words that come to mind when I think of this question are “ rare” and “beautiful”.

             CWG, is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of our fencers. Among our group, there is only one athlete that will be able to participate in the Canada Winter Games 2007. I wish I had that same opportunity, but I don’t. That’s what makes the moment so rare. I didn’t win any medals from the competition, but experience. I did get to experience walking in the sea of Manitobans, and knowing that we all carried on our shoulders, Manitoba’s pride. We were representing our province, Manitoba, in front of all of Canada. That feeling was great! Among the many athletes in Manitoba and the rest of Canada, how many get to experience what we have, just once and if not twice, in their life?

             I use the word “beautiful”. Not only to describe the performances in Fencing and at the Opening Ceremonies but also to describe the feelings that you get at the end of CWG. When you’re out there competing, using all the techniques, tactics and strategies that you’ve learned, the feelings you get while you compete, is like a roller-coaster. You win a bout or match you feel like you’re doing great, but you might encounter the feeling when it’s just not your day, you’re not doing as well as you hoped and start losing confidence in yourself, as an athlete. Many of us experienced that. I know I did. In the end I was happy with the result I got. Just looking at my results made me feel proud. Because I thought at all those times and I felt like I wouldn’t make it and that I would be near the bottom of the list, and how I tried to change the situation so my result in the end would be the one I deserved.

             When we were there, everyone gave 100% to fencing. We did find time to relax and have fun. We all made new friends, through fencing, socializing, dances, forums, and the arcade and of course, the pool tables. Every day, you would find a group of us playing pool. Part of the games, to my discovery, was meeting people from around the country. I made so many friends. Everywhere I went, I would be with someone. Most of my new friends were from fencing, but there were others that were from ringette, squash, cross-country skiing, as well as volunteers and spectators.

             Through Canada Games, I’ve experienced a lot of things that were new to me. I was caught on camera on several occasions. My parents tape everything, so I could watch when I got back. Watching that tape brought back so many stories as well as laughs. I also experienced being interviewed for the first time by a news reporter. I was both excited and nervous during the interview because I didn’t really know what to say. Now I feel more confident around media. I was also told I was chosen to be the recipient of one of the two drawings that were being presented to Manitoba from “Dialogue New Brunswick.”, as a promotion for respect and understanding between English and French speaking communities.

For me, going to the Canada Games is the most memorable event in my life. I came back with memories that were both bitter and sweet. Bitter, that I didn’t get a medal. Sweet, is I took part at the games. I have learned a lot. I wish you could have been there with me.


We Wanted To Medal

By Daria Jorquera Palmer

I woke up Friday morning on the 21st of February and the first thing I thought about was, “I’ve done it, I’m going to the Canada Winter Games. I have worked hard and I’m going to prove it.”

On the following Tuesday morning, I walked into the Eel River Bar gym to warm up for our women’s epee team’s big day. All that was on my mind was fencing, fencing, and fencing. I knew our team had a chance at the Gold and I was going to make sure we did our best to try and get it. We fenced the best we could that week, we fenced how we wanted to, and we fenced as we had not fenced before. We fenced for our coaches, we fenced for our parents, we fenced for Manitoba, and we fenced for ourselves, to prove to Canada, that we were the best.

At the end of our first Canada Winter Games, our team showed everyone that Quebec was good, but we, Manitoba, were better, more trained, more focused, and of course, wanted it more. Though we didn’t come home with a gold medal around our necks, instead, a lovely well-deserved bronze.

We also came home, the envy of every other province. We were the only women’s epee team out of eight teams to have defeated the “undefeatable” Quebec team. The Goliath (La Belle Province), will never forget David (Friendly Manitoba).

Other Winter Games Reflections

Two words that best describe your Canada Winter Games experience:

-“Very Fun” - Benjamin Sawatzky

-“Rare” and “Beautiful” - Chloe Tang

Most memorable moment(s):

-“Beating Matt Coe to get into the finals.” - Benjamin Sawatzky

-“Food-fight in the Nova Scotia team room” - Chloe Tang

Funny/interesting stories:

-“We got into a snowball fight with Quebec, which turned into a pretty bitter rivalry. Tessiere yelling “Hey, dat’s ice!” - Benjamin Sawatzky

- My friend taping a tour of the men’s bathroom to show his parents (Advice: Don’t slide underneath the bus when waiting in line to get up) - Chloe Tang

Advice to future CWG fencers:

- Train really hard, because in the end it’s all worth it. - Benjamin Sawatzky

- Do as much as you can; Perform at 100% of your abilities; use every skill you know; Simple attacks and actions are the best; Support your teammates cause they’ll help you in rough times; Make new friends; Don’t forget/lose your Accreditation; Relax and have fun; You’re representing Manitoba! - Chloe Tang 

Other comments:

- Thanks to everyone who helped during this long two years. - Benjamin Sawatzky

- Most memorable event in my life - Chloe Tang