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Airdrie athletes medal at 2019 Canada Winter Games

It was a medal-filled final few days of competition for three Airdrie athletes competing at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer – all three made the podium in their respective sports Feb. 21 and 22.
Skiing and shooting
Airdrie biathlete Thomas Hulsman finished with the silver medal as a member of Alberta’s relay biathlon team at the Canada Winter Games, in Red Deer.

It was a medal-filled final few days of competition for three Airdrie athletes competing at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer – all three made the podium in their respective sports Feb. 21 and 22. Biathlete Thomas Hulsman was the first local athlete to medal Feb. 21, when he scored silver as a member of Alberta’s 3x7.5-kilometre (km) relay team. “We did quite well,” said the 19-year-old. “We were all able to ski within the top group, and we were able to shoot pretty good, to keep ourselves up there.” Hulsman kicked things off for Team Alberta by racing in the relay’s first leg. “I think I did my job quite well,” he said. “We were in second or third place [when I came in]; me and the guy in third or second were battling it out at the end. I tagged off in a good spot and [my teammates] made sure we got this medal.” Hulsman’s podium placement came two days after he’d just missed out on another medal, when he finished fourth in the men’s 10-km pursuit. He also finished 16th in the 7.5-km sprint Feb. 17. He didn’t have much time to rest following his Canada Winter Games experience, however – just two days later, Hulsman was on a plane to Norway to compete for Canada at the International Biathlon Union’s Junior Cup circuit.

Hockey bronze

Over at the Enmax Centrium, two Airdrie hockey products skated to a bronze medal Feb. 22 as members of Alberta’s U16 male hockey team. With blue-liner Keagan Slaney and right wing Craig Armstrong in the lineup, Alberta earned the bronze after dominating Saskatchewan 12-0 in the third-place game Feb. 22. The win was extra sweet for the hosts, after Alberta lost in overtime to Saskatchewan in the tournament opener Feb. 16. Slaney and Armstrong previously played for the Airdrie Xtreme AAA bantam team and currently lace their skates for the Edge Mountaineers midget prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. Both are set to join Western Hockey League teams next season, with Slaney committed to the Edmonton Oil Kings and Armstrong slated to play for the Prince George Cougars.

Week 2 kicks off

Following the Feb. 23 change-over in athletes, sports and volunteers, the Canada Winter Games continued in Red Deer Feb. 24 with a new batch of athletes competing in different sports. Airdrie’s athletes in Week 2 include figure skater Savanna Martel and judo athlete Teyana Roberts. For 13-year-old Martel, the Games got off to a great start Feb. 25, when she and her partner Kobi Chant skated to a first-place finish during the pattern dance portion of the pre-novice ice dance competition, with a 27.22-point score. “It was going pretty good,” said Martel of the duo’s routine. “With all the energy in the crowd, it was really helping me perform and just enjoy the time, which helped us achieve what we did today.” Martel and Chant returned to the ice Feb. 27 (after press time) for the free dance portion. “We need to go out strong and be confident, like we did today, but also remember there’s still a chance we can get bumped down for placement,” Martel said. “So we need to keep focused and not be over-confident.” Roberts’ judo competition kicked off Feb. 27, after press time. For a full recap of Martel’s and Roberts’ competitions, read next week’s edition of the Airdrie City View.

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