We left by 8 a.m. to arrive in Charlottetown an hour before the start of games of the day and bought tickets for the women’s individual trampoline competition. One of our granddaughters began gymnastics this past year and was particularly interested in the competition. All of the children were excited to attend the games.
When we settled into the stands at the right of the Eastlink centre, the practice jumps were underway. The kids were fascinated with the set-up, the trampolines, the teams, the height achieved by the competitors.
Then we moved to the left side where the competition was held.
Two trampolines, the judges,
the flags representing the provinces and territories of Canada were in place as the first of two groups of nine competitors warmed up after the national anthem.
The stands on our side of the centre were full of supporters of the various teams. Sadly Prince Edward Island did not have any gymnasts in the competition but since we are people of eastern Canadian islands, we cheered for Newfoundland and Labrador. However we really cheered for everyone as did all of the spectators.
The height achieved by the competitors on the trampoline was impressive, some getting as high as the lights behind them on the opposite side of the centre.
With the height, competitors also needed control to stay on the white part of the trampoline while doing spins, flips and twirls. These girls were fearless!
Our granddaughters were fascinated with the competition. Our five year old grandson was interested but became squirmy after an hour or so. His comment, “I’m here for the lunch,” summed it up for him. He enjoyed seeing Wowquis, pronounced Whoa-quis, the mascot for the games. The name is the Mi’kmaq* name for red fox.
I was interested in watching the audience too. Lots of grandparents were in attendance, their grey hair shining under the lights.
While their descendants competed, you could see the tension, then joy as their young women completed their routines. The seniors erupted in cheers as did the provincial groups such as this group of Nova Scotians.
We sat among Newfoundlanders, Quebecers and Saskatchewanians.
Some competitors in these games will go on to represent Canada at various sports in other competitions. Some, like Heather Moyse from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, may win gold medals at the Olympics. Heather won her medals in bobsled though she competed in track at the Canada Games in the 1990s.
However, all of the 3600+ athletes in this competition are already winners, in their own provinces but in many other ways too. Their discipline, hard work and sportsmanship will hold them in good stead for a lifetime. And besides, imagine the fun!
*Mi’kmaq are the First Nations people of Prince Edward Island, or as they called it, Abegweit, land cradled in the waves.
Well done, young women!