Winnipeg ringette champ named Manitoba flag-bearer for 2019 Canada Winter Games

A Winnipeg ringette star will bear the flag for Team Manitoba at her first Canada Winter Games later this month.

Alana Lesperance has 5 Canadian ringette championships under her belt, named tournament all-star at 4 of them

Alana Lesperance, a Winnipeg ringette star, will be Manitoba's flag-bearer for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Ron Boileau/Radio-Canada)

A Winnipeg ringette star will carry the flag for Team Manitoba at her first Canada Winter Games later this month.

Alana Lesperance, a full-time student-athlete at the University of Manitoba, will represent more than 200 athletes at the opening ceremonies of the Games in Red Deer, Alta., which start Feb. 15.

"We've put in so many hours and effort, and we've made so many sacrifices for it," Lesperance said Tuesday.

"To finally go out there and show every other province, and even just our province, how much we've put into it is an experience I can't wait for."

Lesperance has played ringette for 15 years. She's skated for Team Manitoba at five Canadian ringette championships, where she earned two gold medals, a silver and four consecutive designations as a tournament all-star.

She's never competed in the Canada Winter Games, although she's attended in the past to watch her sister compete.

"I think it's an honour to be able to represent all the athletes going to the Games," she said.

"I hope I don't fall," she added with a laugh.

Uniforms unveiled

Manitoba's 208 athletes will be joined by 46 coaches, 14 managers, eight tech support workers and 20 mission staff to participate in all 19 sports during the Games.

Also unveiled Tuesday were the walk-out uniforms Manitoba athletes will wear during ceremonies throughout the Games.

Team Manitoba unveils its walk-out uniforms for the Games. (Ron Boileau/Radio-Canada)

The uniforms feature a slate grey base with pops of yellow on sleeves and the Team Manitoba bison symbol.

The Canada Winter Games run from Feb. 15 to March 3 in Red Deer.

They feature 19 sports with over 3,500 athletes, managers and coaches.