Western Canada Summer Games

 
Waiting to enter the arena for the opening ceremony.

Waiting to enter the arena for the opening ceremony.

JF and Dean the mechanic (with Aïsha behind him and Mathilde at the far right) entering the arena with the Yukon delegation during the opening ceremonies.

JF and Dean the mechanic (with Aïsha behind him and Mathilde at the far right) entering the arena with the Yukon delegation during the opening ceremonies.

Watching the performers during the ceremonies.

Watching the performers during the ceremonies.

The whole cycling team: Coach Trena on the left, Dean the mechanic, Tori, Veronica, Ava, Mathilde, JF (mission staff), Mara, Aïsha and Peter (team manager).

The whole cycling team: Coach Trena on the left, Dean the mechanic, Tori, Veronica, Ava, Mathilde, JF (mission staff), Mara, Aïsha and Peter (team manager).

The whole Yukon delegation!

The whole Yukon delegation!

The girls before the Time Trial (TT) event on Day 1.

The girls before the Time Trial (TT) event on Day 1.

Mara just before her TT start.

Mara just before her TT start.

Race food. Ahem.

Race food. Ahem.

Day 2 : Road race (80 km). They found the hilliest place in the area to make the race more demanding!

Day 2 : Road race (80 km). They found the hilliest place in the area to make the race more demanding!

Day 4 : Modified mountain bike course (Mara).

Day 4 : Modified mountain bike course (Mara).

Aïsha (middle), pushing hard to finish 8th on 21 racers. Mara on the right. I love that we see the grain elevator at the back, so Saskatchewan!

Aïsha (middle), pushing hard to finish 8th on 21 racers. Mara on the right. I love that we see the grain elevator at the back, so Saskatchewan!

Mara lapping Mathilde (left). Mathilde racing strong to finish 15th (right)! She was the youngest racer out there (the field is from 15 to 19, but she had a special permission since she qualified at the preliminary events).

Mara lapping Mathilde (left). Mathilde racing strong to finish 15th (right)! She was the youngest racer out there (the field is from 15 to 19, but she had a special permission since she qualified at the preliminary events).

WCSG2.jpg
WCSG4.jpg
BRONZE!! So happy for my girl!  First ever medal for the Yukon in women cycling at the Western Games!!!

BRONZE!! So happy for my girl!

First ever medal for the Yukon in women cycling at the Western Games!!!

The Western Canada Summer Games were the girls’ first time competing in a multisport event. The opening ceremony with the delegations entering one by one and the lighting of the flame was pretty special (and it was quite surreal for me to watch it online and see my girls and JF on screen!). The cycling events were a combination of road and mountain biking this year, which is quite unusual since these are two very different disciplines (think of it like cross-country skiing and downhill skiing), so it is the main reason the girls started training last December on a road bike.

The Western Canada Summer Games are held every 4 years and this time around, British Columbia decided not to participate in the Games, so only Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the 3 territories were present. Only Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon had a cycling team.

The girls knew their strong suite was the mountain biking, but they still performed pretty well in the road events. However, when the Mountain Bike Eliminator was cancelled on the 3rd day (the 1st day of mountain biking) because the rain had turned the trail into a deep peanut butter clay, the organizers of the Summer Games decided to cancel it AND change the course for the official XC mountain bike race on Day 4, the girls were very, very disappointed. They changed the race to a short track (mostly on grass). The original plan was that there were 4 cycling events in total during the Games (2 road events and 2 mountain biking events), and obviously, the girls are stronger in mountain biking, so this was a big bummer for them. BUT they all had really strong races and Mara came back home with a medal!

Mara gave many interviews after that win and here’s a link to an article published in the Whitehorse Star: https://www.whitehorsestar.com/Sports/roldan-wins-yukon-s-first-cycling-medal.