Manitoba strikes gold at Canada Winter Games


Manitoba’s Julia Xiao and Keith Lau struck Canada Winter Games gold in figure skating pairs pre-novice mix event Friday at the Eliyahu Wellness Centre in P.E.I.

With the pair’s first-place finish, their cumulative score of 105.53 is a Canadian record for this event. In the short program, they scored 39.31 and in the free program, they scored 66.22.

“It feels really good to medal, I wasn’t expecting it. The biggest highlight is this! Winning first place, and my favourite part was the lifts and twists,” said Lau, 17.

Added Julia, 11: “It feels very nice to break the record, we didn’t know right away. I knew I could do it, so I just trusted myself. My favourite part of the skate was landing the third double Lutz, because it had been the element that was the hardest one all week.”

Elsewhere Friday, Chyler Sanders earned her first medal of the 2023 Canada Winter Games Friday.

The 18-year-old Winnipegger captured gold in archery’s compound individual female event today at the Eastlink Centre in P.E.I., beating Ontario’s Abby Bunn 144-139 in the final.

“I didn’t expect to medal, especially so high, it just feels great,” said the 18-year-old Sanders. “I focused on my form and making sure that it was good for me because if I have good form then I have a really good shot.”

Manitoba followed up that medal with a bronze from Winnipeg’s Ryan Cherniak in archery’s compound individual male event.

“It actually feels amazing to medal, I wasn’t expecting it,” said Cherniak, 19. “What I’m mostly focused on during shooting was specifically my breathing, just trying to calm my heart rate down. Last arrow, was super shaky, but it still was a good shot to get me that bronze medal.”

Later in the day, 17-year-old Emily Love of Winnipeg claimed a bronze in archery’s recurve individual female event.

“I’m shaking! it happened really very fast, it hasn’t all sunk in yet. I just got off the phone with my dad, and he said he just about fell off a chair,” said Love.

“It’s all surreal. I can’t believe I just did that. I went into my first match very content and that last arrow, I knew it was a 10, but then when I looked and saw it, it was a perfect spider killer.”

Manitoba’s archers capped the day with another gold medal.

Ryder Wilson, a 16-year-old form Selkirk, bested the field for gold in archery’s recurve individual male event.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Wilson. “I was pretty nervous throughout the whole shoot, I had to shoot faster than I usually do. I’m really happy that I got this opportunity.”