Sixteen-year-old twin sisters Ocean and Spring Ma (Richmond) have won squash medals at provincial, national and international competitions, but PEI 2023 is their first Canada Winter Games.
Being at the Village is a thrilling experience so far.
“I love it. I love the environment,” says Spring, who is three minutes older than her sister. “Going to the cafeteria and seeing other teams, sometimes we sit with teams from Alberta and other provinces. Just getting to know everybody here is such a great experience because everyone has their own story.”
The story for these sisters is how they’ve risen to the top level of their sport since starting five years ago. Now, they often rank first or second and wind up playing each other in finals.
“We both improved so quickly because we had each other and we are both competitive people,” adds Spring.
“It has been such a long journey,” says Ocean. “We have tried really hard to reach goals. It’s been amazing travelling around and meeting athletes who have the same passion for the sport.”
Being at their first multisport event and being part of Team BC is very different from being at a squash event, says Ocean. “I’ve learned way more from this experience already.”
Turning to the squash competition this week at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown, Ocean says for this event, they’re aiming to be on the podium.
“We hope to be in the finals in the individual events,” she says. And Team BC is seeded first in the team event.
Squash is also a huge part of the family for another Team BC competitor. Roman Bicknell (West Vancouver) is “super pumped” for his first Canada Games. He’s not the only member of his family here in PEI. His father is an official and his sister, Ava – a university student in Montreal – is playing for Team Quebec.
Four years ago, Roman’s other sister, Lucia played for Team BC at the Red Deer Canada Winter Games, earning gold in singles and silver in the women’s team competition. Roman’s brother, Matt earned a silver in the men’s team event.
“We do talk about other things when we get together,” says Roman. But, squash dominates the family. “It’s all squash, it’s our favourite sport. We wouldn’t play anything else. We have a competitive spirit in all of us. There’s no greater joy than just competing.”
Squash is one of the non-Olympic sports at the Canada Games. It has taken place at the Pan American Games in 2015 and 2019.
- Filed by Sam Corea (@sammy_sez), Team BC Communications Staff
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