By Bruce Krentz
The circle-of-life story is almost as old as time itself, but we never seem to tire of hearing a new version. In this one, three generations of the Wintinow family slid in to the Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro just like they did 24 years ago; the last time the Games were hosted in Thompson.
In 1994, Pearl Wintinow and her son Steve competed in cross-country for the first time. Back then adults competed in the Games as well, so Pearl also had a competitor’s bib on.
Accommodations were as tight then as they are now, so they called on family to take them in. “That time my mom, Deloris Krentz, opened her doors to her Cousin Pearl and her family. But when you live in Thompson at the “longer end of the road,” guests are sometimes hard to come by, so having family visit was a rare treat.
They had a weekend of visiting and competition they would never forget: Steve earned a medal in the Games. in the games making the experience that much more memorable.
Fast forward 24 years: Steve is a now the father of two kids who share the passion for skiing that the Games ignited in Steve in '94. The games are back in Thompson, and the hotels are still full. My mom isn’t living here anymore but my Brother and I are, and a couple of emails have the Wintinows bunking with the Krentzs once again.
Disney couldn’t have written a better story than the moment Steve's daughter Hannah skied to a medal finish. The circle was complete, with her Grandma “Cousin Pearl” cheering her on in a wash of memories old and new.
We can only hope the Games come back full-circle again in 2042!