IN his message at the front of the Team Manitoba media guide for the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games, which wrapped up Sunday in Kamloops, B.C., Chef de Mission Ted Bigelow quotes late, great American sportswriter Grantland Rice.
"For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He marks not that you won or lost, but how you played the game."
The medal tally never tells the whole story. Manitoba finished with 115 medals (22 gold, 40 silver and 53 bronze). As in 2007 in Sherwood Park, Alta., Team Manitoba came in fourth behind British Columbia with 261 medals, Alberta with 232 and Saskatchewan with 133.
"Our athletes were very well prepared," said Bigelow, by telephone as he was leaving the closing ceremonies. "Now they know what they have to do for Sherbrooke, Que., in 2013 at Canada Summer Games. All the athletes who competed here are age eligible for the Canada Games, and they now have the vision.
"I agree with the host committee when they said, 'they (the athletes) ignite the passion.' Our athletes fought and kicked hard, and I think we did really well."
While those close to the athletes, their coaches, friends, family, etc., can see what Bigelow is alluding to, it's still the medals that the athletes aim for, and that captures the most fan interest.
Manitobans gave it their all on the weekend and a few were rewarded with gold, silver or bronze.
Anna Schappert won gold in the mountain bike competition Sunday and was then awarded a silver medal in the overall category. In the men's division, Christopher Prendergast was awarded the silver medal in the overall category after finishing fourth in mountain bike.
As gymnastics wrapped up, Alia Ross and Meghan Boulanger each won gold medals in the women's individual events. Ross won the floor exercise and Boulanger took gold on the beam. Silver medals went to Isabela Onyshko on the uneven bars and Jason Marks on the pommel. Jaelyn Miscavish won bronze.
On Saturday, Ross won two gold medals and Onyshko won a gold and silver. Ross won the floor exercise and the overall competition and Onyshko was second overall. Ross and Onyshko were joined by their teammates in winning the team gold medal. Miscavish was tied for eighth, Ryann Lewis was tied for 11th Meghan Boulanger was 17th and Amy Schappert was 21st.
In soccer, the Manitoba women lost 3-1 to British Columbia and had to settle for a silver medal, and the men lost 2-1 to Saskatchewan in the bronze-medal final.
On the volleyball court, Manitoba won silver in both the men's and women's tournaments. The men lost the gold-medal final to Alberta 25-16, 16-25, 27-25, 22-25, 15-9.
The Manitoba women lost in the gold-medal final to British Columbia 27-29, 25-18, 25-23, 25-15.
In rugby, Manitoba lost 41-0 in the bronze-medal final to Alberta.
Manitoba women won a bronze medal in the team golf competition. Winnie Hyun was fifth at 17-over par 233; Dana Todd 10th at 29 over 245; Jaclyn Albrechtsen 12th; Hanna Diamond 15th at 274.
At the pool on Saturday, Manitoba swimmers collected three silver medals and four bronze.
Badminton players Andrew Harrison and Ian Laidlaw each won bronze in the men's singles, while Kristy Beettam and Serene Lam did the same in the women's singles.