ADORA KRUGER – Artistic Swimming / Team Alberta
Young girls and boys don’t always listen to their parents. But when Pam Kroger talked about the great times she had as a synchronized swimmer, Adora listened.
“She had the most amazing experiences swimming, it allowed her to make friends for life and gave her amazing opportunities to travel the world and gave her special tools to succeed later in life,” said the native of Cochrane and a member of the Canadian junior national team, who wants to pursue a career in nursing or teaching “She encouraged me to swim, so I could have the same friendships and experiences as she did swimming.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 18-year-old known as Adodo has found success as an athlete. Kruger’s father, Harry, played defensive back for the Calgary Stampeders from 1981-83.
MICHAEL DROVER – Men’s Gymnastics / Team Newfoundland
Drover, from St. John’s, will be happy to show up as the flagbearer for Team Newfoundland at the Canada Games.
He wasn’t able to make the team rally for the Games held in St. John’s after he was storm-stayed after taking part in a pre-Games meet in Charlottetown, PEI.
It will be the second Canada Games for Drover, who competed in 2015 in Prince George, B.C.
“Congratulations to Michael on being chosen to carry our provincial flag on behalf of Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2019 Canada Winter Games,” said the Honourable Dwight Ball Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “He and all members of Team Newfoundland and Labrador have worked hard to achieve the honour of representing our province and I know they will all make us proud in Red Deer.”
EMMA ISAACS – Wheelchair Basketball / Team Manitoba
Currently attending the University of Manitoba to achieve her degree in social work, Isaacs has been playing wheelchair basketball for nearly three years.
Prior to wheelchair basketball, the Winnipeg native competed in gymnastics, synchronized swimming, cheerleading, stand-up basketball, volleyball, badminton, and dance.
Shortly after turning 18, she was paralyzed and lost the ability to participate in gymnastics, her favourite sport. Isaacs sought out another sport and discovered wheelchair basketball through a connection at physiotherapy.
In her spare time, Isaacs volunteers with children in the field of social work.
SHANE WRIGHT – Men’s Hockey / Team Ontario
A helpful hint for hockey fans watching the Canada Games: keep an eye on 15-year-old Shane Wright.
Described as a “dynamic centre with game-breaking talent’’, the six-foot, 170-pound forward is garnering some big-time attention from around the hockey world, a teenager with high-end talent that is already being mentioned in the same sentences as Connor McDavid.
As an early 2004-born prospect, Wright will be seeking Exceptional Status from Hockey Canada in order to be deemed eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft.
If the application is approved, Wright, who recently reached the 100-point mark for the Greater Toronto Hockey League’s Don Mills Flyers, is certain to be the first overall pick at April’s OHL draft.
ANDREW CHOI – Badminton / Team Quebec
A highly decorated athlete, Choi took home two national titles at the 2016 Canadian National Badminton Championships held in Moncton, New Brunswick, winning the boys’ singles event and the boys’ doubles event with partner Alexis Nadeau.
The double gold performance earned Choi a berth on the Canadian team that participated in the Pan American Games that was held two years ago in Lima, Peru.
Choi began playing when he was seven-years-old and his first club was the West Island Badminton Club. He learned the basics of the game at West Island and then refined his game under the tutelage of Allen Zhai at the Pierrefonds Badminton Club.
CHANTEL HOAG – Women’s curling / Team Saskatchewan
Part of an underdog team at the Canada’s under-18 curling championship last year in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Hoag returned from a torn ligament to help her side win silver at the event.
“I was honoured to receive the Fair Play Award chosen by the officials at the U-18 curling Nationals,” said Hoag, who is Second for Team Saskatchewan.
Her goal for the upcoming Canada Games is to bring home another medal.
“My family is a very curling-driven family,” she said. “I grew up watching my sister and parents curl in rinks all across Saskatchewan. My passion only grew with every new rink that I followed them to. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to follow in my family’s footsteps.
“In curling, Joanne Courtney has always been a huge inspiration to me, as her sweeping abilities are something that I aspire to have. My karate sensei (instructor) is also a huge mentor in not only karate, but in life. I find myself following his inspiring advice through the course of my life.”