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Team N.B. prepares for the last weekend of the Canada Winter Games

From left, Dakota Sanzana, Brandi Lingley, Mahée Savoie and Felix Cyr took home medals in judo on Thursday. (Bruce Macfarlane - image credit)
From left, Dakota Sanzana, Brandi Lingley, Mahée Savoie and Felix Cyr took home medals in judo on Thursday. (Bruce Macfarlane - image credit)

Team New Brunswick is heading into the final weekend of the 2023 Canada Winter Games — with 14 medals to show, and counting.

Nicole Smith, the chef de mission for Team New Brunswick, said although the end of the Games is in sight, there is still a lot of action.

"The last day or two, we're just kind of running around trying to get in as many sports as possible, just to be able to see the athletes compete," she said.

Alpine skiers have just joined the team on Prince Edward Island after competing at New Brunswick's Crabbe Mountain, said Smith. Those athletes will be competing on Sunday, the last day of the Games, in ski cross events.

Bruce Macfarlane
Bruce Macfarlane

Cross-country skiing, badminton and hockey are just some of the events still to come.

Molly Kane, a Special Olympics figure skater, won silver on Friday evening, adding to the medal count.

Judo competitors trained on Friday in preparation for the team competition on Saturday, said Smith.

Out of 14 medals, six were won in judo and Smith said New Brunswick is hoping to secure another medal on the weekend.

Fran Harris
Fran Harris

Egan McLean, Dakota Sanzana and Félix Cyr each hold a bronze medal in the sport.

Marisol Savoie, a 13-year-old judo athlete from Moncton, won New Brunswick's second gold medal of the Games.

"I just couldn't believe it," Savoie told CBC's Shift. "I looked out to my parents and … it was such a good feeling of knowing that you made it and you just won the gold medal."

Team N.B.
Team N.B.

Savoie started judo at the age of four, but she said she actually didn't like it right off the bat because of the fighting. But as she continued, Savoie said she "fell in love" with the sport.

Now, she said she enjoys the opportunity to compete and meet new people as a proud New Brunswicker.

Smith said she was in the stands on Thursday watching the judo competition unfold with the Savoie family.

Kevin Lunn
Kevin Lunn

"That's always really special to me and fun to hear their reaction and their cheering on of their family members."

Savoie's sister, Mahée Savoie, took home a silver medal in judo on Thursday, along with Brandi Lingley who also got silver in her weight category. They were two of five athletes to walk away with medals on Thursday.

Lingley said she competed in the 2019 Canada Games and finished in last place, so this experience was very different for her.

She thinks the team dynamic this year made all the difference.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC

"We were really close on this one and just being able to like cheer each other on, we definitely had more motivation," said Lingley.

So far, New Brunswick has two gold medals, four silver and eight bronze:

  • Gold medals include one for female judo and one for male synchronized trampoline.

  • Silver medals include one in male fencing, two in female judo and one in female figure skating.

  • Bronze medals include one for male trampoline, two for female speed skating, two for female fencing, two for male judo and one for female judo.

Friday night will mark the semi-finals for female boxing. It is the first time female boxing is included in the Canada Games.

Lily Brown, from Boundary Creek near Moncton, and Tessa Scott, from Saint John, are both competing in the semi-final consolation bouts on Friday evening, both in different weight categories.

Scott made history on Tuesday when she won the first bout of female boxing at the Canada Games.

Both girls could end up competing for a bronze medal on Saturday if they win their semi-final bouts Friday evening.