Nova Scotia paddlers finish Canada Games with 31 medals

Nova Scotia's paddling team wrapped up competition at the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg and tied a personal best medal haul.

Canoe and kayak team ties highest ever medal count set in P.E.I. in 2009

Connor Fitzpatrick, Bret Himmelman, James MacPhee and Matt Peachey won gold in the 1,000-metre, four-person canoe race on Thursday. Team Nova Scotia finishes the Canada Games tying its record with 31 medals in 36 events. (Team Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia's paddling team narrowly missed beating an all-time personal best at the 2017 Canada Games.

The canoe and kayak team leaves Winnipeg with an impressive 31 medals in 36 events, tying a personal best Team Nova Scotia set during the 2009 games in P.E.I.

Connor Fitzpatrick from Dartmouth, N.S., took away the most hardware with three golds, a silver and a bronze.

It was the sprint canoeist's first time at the Canada Games.

"There's no experience like it," the 18-year-old said.

"I'm so glad I got to be a part of it. You get to do it with so many people you know. You get so close with the team. Everyone's excited," he said.

'A target on our back'

Fitzpatrick credits the team's domination on the water to a combination of co-operation, coaching and knowing Nova Scotia has a reputation for cleaning up at the competition.

"When we come to Canada Games, there's a high expectation for canoe-kayak to win medals," he said.

"Once we know that, we know that we're coming here with a target on our back, knowing that we've got to win medals. Otherwise it's not going to look normal," he said. "That's a huge motivational thing for us.

"We set the target for ourselves. And we did it," he said. "It's been unbelievable for us."

Paddlers take home 8 medals on Friday

There was no shortage of gold for the canoe and kayak teams on Friday.

Team Nova Scotia took home two gold medals in the gruelling 5,000-metre canoe race. Marlee MacIntosh from Halifax won in women's and Bret Himmelman of Hammonds Plains won in men's.

Jessica Hogg and Grace Webby, both from Dartmouth, won gold in the women's two-person 200-metre kayak. 

Nicole Jessop from Halifax finished second in the 200-metre canoe. 

Mark Marschalko from Waverley finished second in the 5,000-metre kayak.

Silver was also snagged by the men's 200-metre four-person kayak team of Zane Clarke, Robert Laureijs, Mark Marschalko and Jacob Steele.

Third-place finishes were earned in the two-person 200-metre canoe by James MacPhee from Beaver Bank and Mark Wiseman from Fall River.

Women also took bronze in the four-person 200-metre canoe: Kate Hennessy and Julia Lilley, both from Dartmouth, and Marlee MacIntosh and Nicole Jessop, both from Halifax, took home a third-place finish.

You can see all the medals that Team Nova Scotia has won here.

About the Author

Marina von Stackelberg


Marina von Stackelberg is a CBC journalist based in Halifax. She previously worked for CBC Sudbury. Connect with her @CBCMarina or marina.von.