It was a moment of pride for the Georges P. Vanier student, Kennedy Turcotte, to bring home three medals from the high-calibre competition of the Arctic Winter Games.
But Turcotte had some trepidation going into that event, which was held in Hay River and Fort Smith of the South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories during March 18-24.
“I was nervous because I didn’t know many of the players,” says Turcotte.
But later, she felt more prepared for these Games and more familiar with her coaches, helping improve her confidence.
As one of six girls from the northern Alberta to attend this international event – another was from Grande Prairie and the other four were from McLennan – it was Turcotte’s goal to win a bronze, silver and gold at the same event.
She won the bronze in singles competition, the silver in girls doubles and the gold in mixed doubles.
At the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland, she brought home two silver and one bronze.
Dan Turcotte, the junior badminton coach at GPV, is pleased with her medal wins.
“For the competition that they had there, it’s quite an achievement,” he says.
“She’s the kind of girl that works hard. That’s what got her to the Games, the extra effort and practice.”
Kennedy Turcotte respects the Greenland badminton team for their ability to perform at the Games.
“Greenland has the toughest competition, badminton is their national sport,” she says.
The language and cultural barriers are not an issue either. Turcotte developed an affinity and respect for other teams at the Games, which included making new friends and trading her memorabilia with them.
“It’s also special to participate in an event that takes place above the 55th Parallel,” she adds.
Turcotte also takes pride in the fact that Team Alberta had the highest medal count for the Games.
This is her senior year at Georges P. Vanier, thereby making her ineligible to compete in future Games. However, Turcotte wants to volunteer in some sort of capacity for that sporting event in the future. Meanwhile, she has taken on the role of coaching the junior badminton players at GPV.
“She’s quite the role model for the kids,” says Dan Turcotte.
Kennedy Turcotte plans to attend Concordia University in Edmonton this fall and she wants to play on their badminton team.