Team Sask Speed Skating
On the edge of something great
When we think of the Canada Winter Games, sports like speed skating are always part of the imagery for people in Saskatchewan, thanks to a genetic disregard for the cold. So it's with no surprise that Saskatchewan athletes and fans alike possess all the makings of an incredibly strong team here in Red Deer.
From the outset of the speed skating competition, it’s clear that this young team is as focused as they come with regards to personal development and group success. Coach Chris Veeman is happy with his team’s on-ice performance, stating that “Skating against these really fast skaters is something we can really build off of.” He goes on to add: “we’ve already had some personal best performances — so we’re really happy with that.”
Playing into the “One Team” mentality that’s often spoken about, this group has a strong team dynamic as they drive each other to be the best they can be, both on and off the ice. Their understanding of how much they stand to gain from a competition like the Canada Winter Games solidifies their constant offerings of encouragement and motivation to achieve. “When we’re on the ice, we compete hard against each other. When we’re off, then you kind of just go back to normal,” says Jackson Wright of Saskatoon. It’s safe to say that their comfort level with pushing each other has helped every member of Team Sask excel at these Games.
Of course, this squad has an incredible collective of mentors helping to ensure they make the most of the Games, on the ice as well as off. Head Coach Tim Comfort, whose son Joshua is here competing, offers decades of experience as a former Games athlete.
Then of course there is Saskatchewan native, Team Sask alumna, and Canadian sport legend Catriona Le May Doan adding her wisdom to the equation, speaking in front of a room of Saskatchewan athletes, coaches, and mission staff. When asked what’s most important for these athletes, she simply says: “Your sport performance is important — I mean, to you, your province, your territory — but you have to take some time and embrace it. Go see the other sports. You will get inspired by watching the other athletes.” She adds, “You probably won’t ever get this opportunity again in a lifetime.”
— Dade Meinart
It’s been a four year wait, and a lot of training to represent Saskatchewan — you’ve got to capture it!
While it may or may not be true this is a once in a lifetime deal for this youthful group, one thing is certain: they are embracing the moment. Long Track athlete Dade Meinart says in an interview, “It’s been a four year wait, and a lot of training to represent Saskatchewan — you’ve got to capture it!”