Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax
© TEAM NOVA SCOTIA COMMUNICATIONS
Dozens of Nova Scotia flags are waved by athletes during Saturday's closing ceremonies.
Lynda Shoveller’s pride over Team Nova Scotia’s performance at the Canada Summer Games extends beyond the province’s record 56-medal haul.
For two straight weeks Nova Scotia’s chef de mission witnessed countless performances by our best athletes. In the end, it’s the less celebrated victories she was thinking about Sunday, the day after the Games’ closing ceremonies in Sherbrooke Que.
When the dust settled, Team Nova Scotia reached 36 personal bests, 25 top-five finishes and set six provincial records, not to mention each of the 20 young men and women on the Nova Scotia canoe-kayak team medaled at least once.
“The perspective I have now is how great our youth are and how proud they are of their province,” said Shoveller. “They are truly great people and great ambassadors for our province.”
By Friday afternoon, Team Nova Scotia had eclipsed the province’s previous Summer Games record medal count of 52 with podium finishes in rowing, heptathlon and high jump events. It finished with 16 gold, 18 silver and 22 bronze medals.
“They performed unbelievably,” said Shoveller. “All we wanted was for our athletes to compete at their best. When they did many of them just happened to win a medal.”
She admits there are too many lasting memories to name in one sitting. But the ones that immediately come to mind are Tim Ferris’s five-medal performances in the pool and Nova Scotia’s two gold in athletics as well as Dartmouth’s Conor Gillespie-Friesen surprising bronze medal in the triathlon.
“He came into the Games hoping for a top-10 finish, and he won a bronze,” she said. “But there are so many special moments it’s impossible to focus on just one moment or performance.”
She said the focus now is to ensure the province’s amateur athletes and programs that serve them maintain a standard of excellence as the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C. quickly approaches, followed by the 2017 Summer Games in Winnipeg.