They might not leave Winnipeg with a medal, but two Canada Summer Games athletes from Yellowknife will be going home with a taste of what "Friendly Manitoba" means.
Indoor volleyball players Jackie Ramirez, 16, and Jennifer Lalonde, 15, say they were feeling low after losing three straight sets to New Brunswick on Tuesday.
"We had kind of an off-game. We were kind of down," Lalonde told CBC News.
The pair decided to go for pizza with their mothers at Peg Beer Co. to debrief the match. When they finished the meal the waitress brought them a small handwritten note.
"We thought it was a bill but it wasn't," Lalonde said.
The note read, "Please enjoy your time in Winnipeg and good luck in your events and future sports life!" It was signed by "some friendly Manitobans!"
The waitress told them the note was from a couple sitting at the next table who heard about the difficult match and decided pick up the tab for their lunch, Lalonde said.
"It honestly made my day I was so happy," she said. "It was kind of sad that we didn't get to meet them, but it made still feel so welcome to be here and honoured that people really care."
Ramirez said the random act of kindness turned the day around.
"I was a little bit in shock but at the same time it warmed my heart to know that you didn't even know them and they were willing to pay for your meal," she said.
The small gesture also made a lasting impact on the teens' proud mothers visiting from Yellowknife.
"Travelling around Canada and getting to meet all different people from different provinces you really realize how great of a country we live in," Lynn Lalonde said. "I just felt really proud — proud to be a Canadian and proud to be here."