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Olympian Heather Moyse explains how Canada Games prepare athletes for next-level competition

With the 2023 Canada Winter Games entering its second week of events, Prince Edward Island gold-medal Olympian Heather Moyse is reflecting on how the games were her jumping-off point to competing on the world’s biggest stage.

She first took part in the Canada Games in 1997 in Brandon, Man., as a track and field athlete.

“At the time, I just considered sport to be extracurricular to what I was going to do to earn a living,” said Moyse in a recent interview with CTV Atlantic.

She says, without realizing it, the games prepared her for the sports she later pursued: rugby, track cycling and most notably, bobsleigh. She went on to compete in four Olympic Games – winning gold in bobsleigh at Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.

The Canada Games, as a multi-sport event with plenty of distraction, can help young athletes learn to deal with the pressures of performing at the next level, said Moyse.

She says athletes are competing in front of crowd sizes they may have not experienced before.

“Especially with the P.E.I. athletes, sometimes you think there is home field advantage or a home track advantage or a home court advantage, but sometimes it's competing in front of that home crowd that can be that added layer of pressure,” said Moyse.

But the games don’t only benefit the athletes – they bring infrastructure to the island that wasn’t there before, like an Olympic-sized ice surface in North Rustico and a multi-sport dome at the Credit Union Place in Summerside.

While the venues are spread across the island, Moyse says that comes with its advantages.

“The parking is a lot easier. It’s easier to get around. Like everything is spread out, instead of everything being contained,” said Moyse. “A huge shout out needs to go out to the organizers.” Top Stories

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