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Home Sports Prince Albert’s Shewchuk wins bronze, named Team Sask flag bearer for Canada Winter Games closing ceremonies

Prince Albert’s Shewchuk wins bronze, named Team Sask flag bearer for Canada Winter Games closing ceremonies

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Prince Albert’s Shewchuk wins bronze, named Team Sask flag bearer for Canada Winter Games closing ceremonies
Prince Albert’s Krystle Shewchuk poses for a photo with her Canada Winter Games bronze medal after finishing third in the 5 km Para-Nordic Sit Ski on Saturday, March 4, 2023. -- Team Saskatchewan photo.

It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Prince Albert’s Krystle Shewchuk.

On Saturday, she earned a bronze medal in the 5 km Para-Nordic Sit Ski, Saskatchewan’s 20th medal of the games. She then had a meeting with Team Sask Chef de Mission Mark Bracken, who told her she’d been selected as the province’s flag bearer for the closing ceremonies on Sunday.

Shewchuk said the news was surprising, but exciting.

“I was a little bit shocked,” she said afterwards. “I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s pretty awesome. I had no idea. I thought it was just a team meeting.”

The 2023 Canada Games in Prince Edward Island were Shewchuk’s fourth and final opportunity to compete for Team Saskatchewan. She also competed in sailing at the 2017 and 2022 Canada Summer Games, and in skiing at the 2019 Winter Games.

Bracken said Shewchuk has been a model athlete during that time, which helped solidify her selection as Team Saskatchewan flag bearer.

Prince Albert’s Krystle Shewchuk poses for a photo with her Canada Winter Games bronze medal after finishing third in the 5 km Para-Nordic Sit Ski on Saturday, March 4, 2023. — Team Saskatchewan photo.

“She medaled today (Saturday) which is great, but more importantly she’s a four-time Canada Games participant (and) a medalist in two different sports,” Bracken said. “When you look at opening and closing ceremonies flag bearer, it’s about performance, but it’s also about somebody who’s a role model, somebody who has shown that they’re committed to Team Saskatchewan and sport in the province, and she just rose to the top.”

“It’s really special, especially being this is the last one before I age out,” Shewchuk added. “I’ve been training really hard for this moment … and so I’m quite grateful. It’s been a long road.”

Shewchuk’s bronze was her third medal in four trips to the Canada Games. Her final time of 24:28.8 was just ahead of B.C.’s Lily Brook, who finished fourth with a time of 25:16.1.

Shewchuk was relieved to hear her the news, since she didn’t think her time was good enough for a spot on the podium.

“I had trouble on a couple of my corners,” she said. “I was quite surprised when (the coaches) let me know that I got a medal, so I was pretty excited.”

Team Saskatchewan cross country ski coach Lauren Miranda said Shewchuk has been one of their most consistent skiers over the past few years. Miranda was happy to those efforts rewarded with a bronze medal, and a spot as flag bearer in the closing ceremonies.

“This is her fourth games, so she knows how to compete,” Miranda said. “It’s just a matter of going out and doing her best, and she did a great job of going out and doing that.

“She’s just been so consistent and committed. She trained a lot by herself this year, and so I think she really deserves this opportunity.”

Team Saskatchewan finished the 2023 Canada Games with three gold medals, seven silver, and 10 bronze That’s three more medals than the province earned in 2019.

The 2023 Canada Winter Games closing ceremonies begin at 5:30 p.m. Saskatchewan time.