By Sarah Tone, Communications Coordinator
February 7, 2023 – WINNIPEG, MB – Speed skating’s Sofia Bieber (Winnipeg) is Team Manitoba’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.
“I’m so honoured to represent Manitoba as the flagbearer for the 2023 Canada Winter Games. When I first heard, I was like “wow, they picked me?!”, said Bieber. “The Canada Games are different than any other competition. We’re representing our province together as a team, more than just ourselves. This is our moment.”
Bieber is one of 207 athletes who will compete for Team Manitoba at the Games between February 18 – March 5, 2023. She’s a team player, she has a focused and positive outlook, and she’s known to motivate and support her fellow teammates – which will all lend well as she leads her team into the opening ceremony. Professionally, she’s qualified twice for the Junior National Team, and volunteers at local events when she isn’t racing.
The athletes will join 68 coaches, managers, technical support staff, and 22 mission staff to participate in the 2023 Canada Winter Games. Click here to view the roster. (*subject to change)
“Congratulations to all of the members of Team Manitoba attending the Canada Winter Games in P.E.I.,” said Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Obby Khan. “As a former professional athlete I know the hard work and dedication you have put in to represent your province. You have earned the right to wear the buffalo, and will make Manitoba proud.”
“This is such a special achievement for each of these athletes. The Canada Games are a key milestone on the high-performance pathway, but this is just one step of many great things ahead,” said Chef de Mission Drew Todd. “Alongside my incredible mission staff, we are doing all we can to help our athletes succeed, and we are confident they will perform at their best on the national stage.”
Team Manitoba is proud to partner with Kenora Designs and Kahunaverse Sports as the suppliers for our 2023 Canada Winter Games walkout uniform. Toba’s signature black and gold stand out in each piece. Each team member receives a jacket, two long-sleeved shirts, a crew neck, pants, a toque, and a backpack.
TEAM MANITOBA FACTS AND FIGURES
– Youngest: Jorja Best, 10, Figure Skating, Carman
– Oldest: Levi Nadlersmith, 25, Cross Country Skiing, Boissevain
Technical support staff: 6
Mission staff: 22
- Rebecca and Sofia Bieber, speed skating, Winnipeg
- Erik and Ryan Kulbacki, speed skating, Winnipeg
- Jocelyn and Sophia Jekat, alpine ski, East St. Paul
- Mae and Evan Fulton (twins), freestyle ski, Birtle
- Anne and Emily Hargraves (twins), squash, Winnipeg
- Will and Taryn Znidarec, squash, Winnipeg
- Naomi and Ben Wiens, cross country ski, Morden
- Kate and Mia Sawatsky, cross country ski, Altona
- Maya. Kai, and Ethan Veitch, snowboard, East St. Paul
All in the Family:
- Alex Léveillé (freestyle ski) is second cousins with Kaya Léveillé (Judo)
- Biathlete Rowan Firth has the support of her dad Kenton (technical support)
- Squash coach Trevor Borland is coaching his nephew Owen
- Curling mission staff Laurie Macdonell will be supporting her son Aaron
- Wheelchair basketball team manager Judy Thevenot is participating with her son Thomas Thevenot
- Wheelchair basketball coach Joey Johnson is a Canada Games alumn and Olympian. He’s coaching alongside his brother Bill, and they are coaching Bill’s son Callum.
- In curling:
- Coach Tim Arbuckle is coaching his daughter Mackenzie
- Coach Keith Stoesz is coaching his daughter Piper
- Coach Graham Freeman is coaching his son Jace
- Cross Country Ski has many connections:
- Team Manager Pauline Nadlersmith’s two children are both competing – Levi and Imogen. This is Levi’s third Canada Games and Imogen’s second.
- Coach Steven Wintoniw will coach his children Hannah and William
- Technical support staffer Andrew Vanden Berg is attending with his son William, and his three nephews, Isaiah Vanden Berg, and Hezekiah and Gideon Hoeppner.
Athletes who previously attended a Canada Games (self-identified):
- Canada Winter Games
- 2019, Red Deer, AB: 19
- 2015, Prince George, BC: 2
- Canada Summer Games
- 2022, Niagara, ON: 10
- 2017, Winnipeg, MB: 1
- Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro: 17
At the last Canada Winter Games in Red Deer AB in 2019, Team Manitoba was represented by a team of 296 athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff. Team Manitoba won 25 medals – 9 gold, 7 silver, and 9 bronze. In the race for the Canada Games’ Centennial Cup, Team Manitoba placed second, as the second most-improved team from the previous Winter Games in 2015.
Find Team Manitoba’s historical results and standings, here: https://www.sportmanitoba.ca/team-manitoba/history/
For more on the 2023 Canada Winter Games, including competition schedules, results, and statistics, visit: https://www.2023canadagames.ca/