Olympic medallist cheers on family during Summer Games
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 06:00 am
As spectators watched the team handball competition at Genesis Place Recreation Centre or the softball action at Chinook Winds Park during the 2014 Alberta Summer Games on July 25 to 27, they may have done a double take as they noticed an Olympic gold medallist was watching the events as well.
Edmonton’s Kevin Martin, who won the gold in men’s curling at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, was watching his daughter Mykaela represent Zone 6 in softball action, and his niece Sarah Bishop of Wainwright compete for the Zone 7 team handball squad.
“To be a part of something like this as a spectator is pretty cool,” Martin said. “We were watching the opening ceremonies (at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park on July 24) and there were almost as many athletes here as there were for the Winter Olympics.”
“It’s a pretty big honour for the athletes to be in something like this, and for my wife Shauna and I to be able to come down and watch is great,” he added.
Mykaela, 13, was competing in her first Alberta Summer Games in softball, as she played both as a pitcher and catcher for the eventual sixth-place finishers from Zone 6, which was made up of players from Edmonton.
“It’s been a lot of fun, and to have my family cheering me on has been pretty special,” Mykaela said.
“I know a couple of the girls here, but since the majority of the girls that play in the Summer Games are in the U16 division and I’m in the U14 leagues, it’s been interesting to try and match up with them.”
“When the softball games aren’t taking place, we’ve had the chance to be shuttled around to the different events to cheer on our fellow Zone 6 teammates, and to be able to get to everything in a quick amount of time was really nice,” she added.
Martin, who officially retired from the professional curling circuit in April of this year, was also impressed with the close distances for each of the events and how well-kept the facilities were.
“As soon as you get to the diamonds here at Chinook Winds or to the building at Genesis Place, you see how everything is almost perfectly put into place around here,” Martin said.
“It really shows that amount of pride that Airdrie puts into an event like this, and it’s very impressive to see.”
Bishop won a medal in her event on July 27 as Zone 7 earned a silver medal following a 15-12 setback to Zone 6.