The Canada Summer Games are hitting close to home for Laura Pola.
While the 15-year-old Ottawa tennis prodigy knows the thrill of wearing Canadian colours, she's savouring this week's opportunity to do good things for the province she calls home.
"It's more special. It's where you're from," Pola said yesterday as she pondered the significance of a double-gold day in Regina.
Pola and Monica Lalewicz of Mississauga outduelled Quebec's Jillian O'Neill and Marie-Pier Huet 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 yesterday morning to claim the women's doubles crown. Later in the day, the duo helped Ontario claim the team gold with another three-set win over their rivals from La Belle Province. The matches were the toughest of the week for Pola and Lalewicz, who had made a habit of recording straight set wins.
"It was more of a physical challenge, compared to our other matches," said Pola. "We know those opponents, they're one of the toughest teams we play against."
They also know each other well. Pola and Lalewicz spent several months training together at the Ace Tennis Academy in Burlington, and have become the best of friends.
Together, they've done their province proud. It's a week Pola won't soon forget.
"It's a memory that will last forever," she said.
In other results:
- Local paddlers added to their medal haul in the Games canoe/kayak competition. Nepean's Emily Raymond grabbed the bronze in the K-1 200 metres final. Raymond clocked 46.65 seconds. Also bronzed was Andrew McMillan of Ottawa, who teamed up with Jonathon Blackadar of North Bay to place third in the men's C-2 200 metres.
- Ottawa's Jenna Kayakjuak won the women's 100-metre butterfly for swimmers with a disability (SWAD). Meagan Michie of the Greater Ottawa Kingfish placed fourth in the 50-metre backstroke.
- North Gower's Alysha Bonnick will have to settle for a shot at women's soccer bronze. Ontario was edged by B.C. 2-1 in yesterday's semi-finals.