The Alberta Winter Games welcomed 3,000 athletes to Leduc Feb. 15 to 17, including 15 athletes from Ponoka. There were 24 different sports with more than 500 medals being handed out at the games.
Ponoka athletes did very well winning seven medals and top finishes in other events.
Maddison Pearman, 11, took home gold in the midget female speed skating event and silver in the junior team pursuit with her sister Brooke. Brooke also won bronze in the 12 to 13 juvenile division.
Both girls had a great experience and had a lot of fun competing and compared it a mini Olympics.
During the pursuit the girls had a plan going into the event and it turned out very well for them.
“We had a strategy and we stuck to it so it resulted in a silver medal. We skated with two other athletes, one from Red Deer and the other from Rocky Mountain House, so we had to talk to each other during the race to make sure we stayed together,” they said.
Both girls thought it was a neat feeling being with so many athletes from across the province participating in an athletic event. On the podium both girls were very excited.
“It was a very proud moment and something I worked very hard towards this year,” said Brooke.
“It was one of my goals for the year so I felt very happy standing on the podium,” said Maddison.
One of Brooke’s favourite moments was when she fell in the 100m heat and was able to get up fast and came in second to qualify for the ‘A’ final and Maddison thought the opening ceremonies were very exciting with 2,400 athletes cheering loudly.
Katie Walcheske won silver in wrestling in the 56 kg division. Helena Winter won bronze in wrestling in the 46 kg division. Isaac MacDonald won bronze in wrestling in the 65 kg division. Rebekah Harper placed fourth in wrestling in the 60 kg division. Nicole Marburg placed fourth in wrestling in the 65 kg division. Brett Rogalski placed fifth in wrestling in the 51 kg division. Chanal Mandrusiak placed fifth in wrestling in the 60 kg division. Jacob Gartner placed seventh in wrestling in the 83 plus kg division. Jenna Brake played on the 14 and under volleyball team who placed eighth. Duro Baden placed eighth in the 43 kg division. Ian MacDonald placed eighth in the 37 to 40 kg division. Ponoka was a part of the Zone Four team, which for wrestling placed eighth overall. Victoria Boardman placed tenth in figure skating in the junior bronze ladies free skate. Cole Hogarth did not place in the judo 45 to 50 kg division.
Zone Four won 45 medals including 12 gold, 13 silver and 20 bronzes.
The Alberta Cup went to Zone Three (Calgary) for the zone with the most points during the competition. The Minister’s Cup went to Zone Two (Big Country), for the team who has shown the most improvement. The Spirit of Sport went to Zone Eight (Peace Country) for best representing the spirit of the games, good sportsmanship and integrity during the games. The 2008 Alberta Summer Games will take place in Medicine Hat Aug. 7 to 10.