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Newfoundland's Canada Winter Games nordic skiers ready to promote the place they love in Red Deer

Joe Brazil photo

Skyler May is seen here competing for Team Western at the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games at the Pasadena Ski and Nature Park.
Joe Brazil photo Skyler May is seen here competing for Team Western at the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games at the Pasadena Ski and Nature Park. - Contributed

Blow Me Down Trails in Corner Brook will have six of its top young skiers represent the province at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.

The speed demons who will be wearing Newfoundland and Labrador’s colours include Corner Brook siblings Daley and Jamie Silken Merrigan who have been blazing the trails since they’ve been old enough to strap on a pair of skis.

The other four team members include Corner Brook’s Skyler May, Hugh Warkentin, and Ella Tucker and Massey Drive’s Chloe Reid.

All six earned their way to the Games with impressive performances at the 2019 Ye Old Christmas Races at Blow Me Down Trails earlier this month. This event was used as the selection race to determine who would make the trip to Red Deer.

Canada Games is a showcase of Canada’s best amateur athletes from coast to coast and the group is focused on doing their best to represent the province and be good ambassadors for their hometown and province.

The Star chatted with the athletes this week about the great experience that awaits them on the Canada Games stage.

Chloe Reid
Chloe Reid

Chloe Reid, Corner Brook

Age: 15

Hometown: Massey Drive

Parents: Lana and Jason Reid

Games Goal: Do my best and have fun.

Question: What is it you want the rest of the country to know about your hometown and province when you go to Red Deer?

I want people to know that even though we come from a small place, that we can still do big things. Our size doesn’t define us and it doesn’t stop us from achieving the same things that people in bigger provinces can. I want them to know how passionate skiers in Corner Brook are and how big the skiing is in Corner Brook and how much the sport means to a lot of people.

Hugh Warkentin
Hugh Warkentin
Hugh Warkentin

Hugh Warkentin, Corner Brook

Age: 18

Hometown: Corner Brook (currently living in Kelowna)

Parents: Ian Warkentin and Christine Campbell

Games goal: A top-10 finish in one of my individual races

Question: What is it you want the rest of the country to know about your hometown and province when you go to Red Deer?

I want to show everyone that Corner Brook has a really good ski community and so does Newfoundland, and I don’t think a lot of people realize that. I think it will be good to show everybody that Newfoundland and Corner Brook can produce really good skiers and we have really good trails in our province.

Jamie Merrigan
Jamie Merrigan
Jamie Merrigan

Jamie Silken Merrigan, Corner Brook

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Jamie Merrigan and Jennifer Pendleton

Games goal: Race my hardest and have a good time

Question: What is it you want the rest of the country to know about your hometown and province when you go to Red Deer?

I want the rest of the country to know that Corner Brook has beautiful ski trails and a great ski community, as does the rest of the province.

Daley Merrigan
Daley Merrigan
Daley Merrigan
Daley Merrigan

Daley Merrigan, Corner Brook

Age: 16

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Jamie Merrigan and Jennifer Pendleton

Games goal: To place top 30 in all of the races I compete in at the Games.

Question: What is it you want the rest of the country to know about your hometown and province when you go to Red Deer?

We’re not part of the mainland and a lot of the best competitors, in any sport, come from Ontario, Quebec or British Columbia, so I guess I want to leave the message that we’re fully capable of doing as well as other competitors across Canada. I would tell people that it’s quite nice here with a lot of outdoor stuff to be done here and tell them the people are really friendly.

Skyler May
Skyler May
Skyler May
Skyler May

Skyler May, Corner Brook

Age: 15

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Andrew May and Nicole LeDrew-May

Games goal: My goal for the Games is to get the experience really because I have been spending a lot of time just trying to qualifying for this so this is going to be one my first real national events.

Question: What is it you want the rest of the country to know about your hometown and province when you go to Red Deer?

A lot of the time people think our competitors aren’t typically really super fast like Ontario, Quebec and B.C. who normally produce the top athletes, so if we can give them a run of money we will get some recognition. I would tell them it’s pretty cool to live in Corner Brook and tell them we have a great ski club.

Ella Tucker
Ella Tucker
Ella Tucker
Ella Tucker

Ella Tucker, Corner Brook

Age: 15

Hometown: Invermere, B.C. (living in Corner Brook since 2012)

Parents: Wayne and Allison Tucker

Games goal: To get personal best times in my races and make friends with skiers from across the country.

Question: What is it you want the rest of the country to know about your hometown and province when you go to Red Deer?

I think it’s important that a lot of people going to the Games are from larger places, so I want people to know, despite being a smaller province, we can still compete even though there are sometimes lack of opportunities. I would let them know the people in our province are friendly and welcoming to others, and I want them to know we have a great place for the outdoors and it’s beautiful here. We sometimes have some bad weather, but we all know that it’s worthwhile to get outside no matter what.

Daley Merrigan is seen here racing to a gold medal at the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games as a member of Team Western at the Pasadena Ski and Nature Park. - Shell LeDrew photo
Daley Merrigan is seen here racing to a gold medal at the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games as a member of Team Western at the Pasadena Ski and Nature Park. - Shell LeDrew photo

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