At every provincial Games —summer and winter — it’s common to come across athletes who have attended on two occasions. Rare are the athletes who have been to three.
Clarenville cross-country skiers Kyle Evans, 16, and Amy Short, 17, participated in their fourth Newfoundland and Labrador Games this week in their hometown. Both were swimmers at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games in Corner Brook and Harbour Grace/Carbonear, and also skied at the Winter Games in Grand Falls-Windsor in 2010. — Photo by Kenn Oliver/The Telegram
Rarer still, due to the age restrictions and the Games’ bi-annual schedule, are athletes who have been fortunate enough to represent their region and hometown four times.
But at this week’s 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Clarenville, the host team is proud to have two such athletes in Amy Short, 17, and Kyle Evans, 16.
The Clarenville high school students were part of the host cross-country team, and helped their respective teams to bronze medals in the 4x2.5kilometre relays on Monday morning after finishing ninth in the 1km sprint on the first day of competition.
“It’s great that (the Games) are here, a lot of people have put a lot of time towards it,” says Evans who turned in the fastest time for the boys’ relay team that also included Christian Hackett, Patrick Dove and anchor Andrew Sullivan. “From my point of view, this is probably one of the best Games I’ve participated in.”
Both Evans and Short were swimmers for the Eastern region in their first go-around at the 2008 Summer Games in Corner Brook, a role they reprised in the summer of 2012 when Harbour Grace and Carbonear played host. In between, they competed in cross-country at the 2010 Winter Games in Grand Falls-Windsor.
The teens are both active in numerous sports, with Short having to choose between figure skating and cross-country skiing.
“I decided to choose skiing because I had provincial figure skating last weekend a couple of weekends before there was regionals, so I thought maybe a ski race would be nice,” she says.
As Games veterans, in the weeks leading up to the event they were asked to take part in the torch relay through the community.
“It was such a great experience and so much fun to run around town with the torch,” says Short, who was also part of the Grade 12 music class that rocked the opening ceremonies at the Clarenville Events Centre.
“It was nice to be recognized and see all your family and friends cheering you on,” added Evans, who missed the chance to compete in volleyball by one year.
Even though the Games experience isn’t new to Evans and Short, they’re still soaking it up the same as any other athlete.
“The best thing about this is meeting new people,” says Evans. “I love talking to people and seeing where they’re from.”
“You meet so many new friends, especially when you’re skiing,” adds Short. “When you’re out there waiting, you get to connect with people.”
Evans and Short’s participation in the Games won’t end now that cross-country wrapped up, Short will volunteer at the figure skating venue in Whitbourne when it gets underway Thursday, while Evans has other plans in mind.
“I’ll mostly be at the athletes’ village meeting even more people… and having some free food.”