THERE will be no ice cream or late nights for Maddy and Emma Mitchell at this year’s Canada Games.

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THERE will be no ice cream or late nights for Maddy and Emma Mitchell at this year’s Canada Games.

The 19-year old twin sisters have a busy week on the water ahead of them. Maddy, a member of Team Manitoba’s canoe team, will be competing in eight events this week and Emma will be competing in seven kayak events. The sisters are focused on winning as many medals as they can this week, unlike their 2013 Games in Sherbrooke, Que. when they were only 15 years old and just there for the experience.

"There’s an ice cream bar at the (athlete’s) village and it’s super tempting to go for it every day and that’s what I would’ve done at the last Games. I would have stayed out late with all the other athletes and ate at the ice cream bar every night because I only had 2 races and it wasn’t the end of the world," said Maddy. "But now, it’s super important to stay properly fuelled and now that I’ve had that (past Games) experience and know that there are those temptations at the village, I can just focus on what I’m here for."

The sisters are here to win, and so far, skipping the ice cream bar has paid off. After day one at the Manitoba Canoe and Kayak Center, Maddy won a silver medal in the women’s C2-1000 metre race with her partner Nicole Boyle.

In boys’ kayaking Manitoba’s James LaVallee won bronze Monday in the K-1 500 metres.

Emma wasn’t thrilled with her performance after the first day of competition, but she says a "medal finish is definitely possible" for her sometime this week. Maddy says she has "no idea" how they will stay fresh for the entire week, but that their teammates are doing whatever they can to help the twins out.

"Today, I was walking to the tent and there were people who weren’t racing and they offered up their lunch and seat to me because mine hadn’t arrived yet. Everyone’s been great," said Maddy, who won 12 gold medals at the 2015 Western Canada Games.

Emma says most of the competitors this week will be competing in between one to three events throughout the week. She says her and Maddy are at a bit of a disadvantage as they’ll have very little time to rest, but she’s confident their training has gotten them ready for the challenge.

"It’s really exciting for us because we have more chances (to medal), but it is harder because we have to be smarter than everyone else and recovering better because we are racing a lot more than those other people," said Emma, who won five medals at the 2015 Western Canada Games.

Emma and Maddy — who have an older sister named Sarah who will be canoe racing at the Games — are each other’s biggest supporters and motivators. Emma says almost everything is a competition with Maddy and that they always want to outdo one another.

"Me and Maddy don’t compete with each other directly on the water, but in every other aspect, we’re always competing. Weights, running, swimming, we’re always competing with each other," said Emma.

Other than the fact one races in a canoe and one races in a kayak, you’d have a tough time telling the Mitchell twins apart. Emma says their personalities are also similar and that even if you know them very well, you’d still have a tough time knowing who is who.

"Even today, I was talking to my grandma and she had to ask my older sister if I was Emma or Maddy," said Emma.

The twins already have impressive resumes in their young careers, but neither one of them is sure what the future will hold for them in their respective sport. For now, they’re just focused on one goal.

"More medals, of course," said Maddy.

You can catch the twins and the rest of Team Manitoba’s canoe and kayak teams in action this week at the Manitoba Canoe and Kayak Center.

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
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Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.

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