It was with smiles on their faces that team EDN’s athletes returned home on Sunday after the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), which took place from July 16 to 23, 2017, came to a close in Toronto. In the heat of the summer, team EDN’s 292 athletes performed remarkably well at the Games, winning 77 medals and finishing 4th in the overall team standings.
The NAIG kicked off with a grand opening ceremony on Sunday, July 16, in front of a crowd of more than 7,500 people including athletes, coaches, volunteers, spectators and mission staff, at the Aviva Stadium at York University. Aboriginal artistic and musical performances were held to mark the beginning of the NAIG, which is an important international multisport and cultural event.
At the Games, the canoe-kayak team was particularly successful, winning nearly half of team EDN’s medals with an impressive 34 medals! The badminton team also shone beautifully by winning 12 medals, as did the swimming team, which won 14 medals. In athletics, 8 medals were won in the running and cross-country events. The wrestling team finished the Games with 6 medals.
The victory by the women’s U19 lacrosse team in the finals was also a landmark event for team EDN. In fact, it is the first women’s team to win the gold medal in this sport, which previously only counted men’s teams at the NAIG. On Saturday, on the final day of the Games, the women’s U19 soccer team, which won the silver medal, gave team EDN’s supporters an emotional performance from start to finish.
Despite their excellent performances, the basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, archery and rifle shooting teams unfortunately did not make the podium. Team EDN would like to congratulate these young athletes for their sustained efforts, sportsmanship and consistently positive attitudes despite defeat.
“I am extremely proud of all the athletes who were able to represent the various communities of Quebec in an honourable fashion at the Games. This week, I had the opportunity to have a front row seat to witness the pride of our young people, both in victory and in defeat. More than just a sporting competition, this week also provided opportunities for cultural exchanges and sharing, notably with the excellent artistic performances we were able to enjoy, but also thanks to the ties that the different communities will have woven together during this memorable week,” said the Chef de Mission, Ms. Sophie Picard.
It was therefore with great pride and joy, but also a touch of nostalgia, that all the teams gathered last Saturday evening at the cultural area of York University for the closing ceremony celebrating the end of this week of competition, to the rhythm of colourful musical and artistic performances.
Team EDN would like to congratulate all its athletes and thank the coaches, managers and assistants who made this week an unforgettable event in every respect. A very special thank you to all the spectators and supporters who travelled to Toronto or who followed the Games from a distance. “Your support and encouragement is essential for the athletes. Thanks to you, they were able to go where they went with confidence,” stressed Ms. Picard.
About the NAIG
The NAIG is a major sporting and cultural event that welcomes more than 5,000 Aboriginal youth ages 12 to 19 years from across Canada and the United States for fourteen traditional and modern sports disciplines. For more information about the NAIG, please visit the following website: http://www.naig2017.to.
About team EDN
Team EDN is comprised of 292 athletes representing 28 First Nations communities. As Quebec’s official representative for the NAIG, it cultivates a spirit of friendly competition and athletic excellence while honouring the various Aboriginal cultures it includes.
SOURCE Team EDN
For further information: Nadine Gros-Louis, Assistant Chef de Mission – Communications, 418-564-4555 (mobile phone), firstname.lastname@example.org