From Rio de Janeiro to Alberta in a few short weeks, it may not be the most fascinating of trips, but Manitoba badminton player David Snider is hoping to be waxing the competition next month en route to a gold medal at the Western Canada Summer Games.
Yesterday Sport Manitoba unveiled Snider, who recently returned from a quarter-final appearance at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, as the flag bearer for the 'Tobans when the Games officially open on Aug. 3 near Edmonton in Strathcona County, Alta.
"It's going to be great and an adrenaline rush," Snider said of walking into the opening ceremonies with the 319-member Team Manitoba behind him. "I feel so great that I get to hold the flag. It's going to be awesome."
"There's a lot of great athletes in this province and I was surprised to hear that I was appointed for this."
Having gone through the massive multi-sport event that is the Pan Am Games only a week ago, Snider knows what to expect when he gets to Alberta, even if those games are on a much smaller scale.
"I've just learned that you really have to take advantage of the experience," Snider said. "You have to get around to see the other sports and the city. Ya, obviously you are there for training hard and playing your sport, but I just think that you can learn a lot from the places that you go there.
"You have to watch your nutrition and stay fit because there are going to be days when you're not in the competition."
Specifically to his sport of badminton, Snider said he was able to pick up on some of the finer points of the game from the world's best.
"Just watching some of the more veteran players, the way they would warm up and get ready and prepared for big matches," he said. "I've learned by observing quite closely."
Snider is the best 19-year-old badminton player in the country. After having to withdraw from last year's nationals with a pinched nerve, he came back to win the crown this season.
"It was great to come back this year, play in it again and win it," he said.
Sport Manitoba also announced yesterday that cyclist Erin Carter and rower Jeff Powell will be honourary captains for the team. Both athletes participated in previous Western Canada Games.
"The experience I had as a junior athlete went a long way to shaping the competitor, athlete and person I have become," Powell said.