Winning silver at one of Canada’s largest sports competitions was not an achievement a Richmond athlete was expecting to do at the age of 18.
Emily Yen, who trains at Gum Ying Richmond Archery, took home silver in archery at the Canada Winter Games that was held in Charlottetown, P.E.I. earlier this month.
The Winter Games, which is held every four years in Canada, saw more than 3,500 athletes under 21 years old compete in 20 different sports between Feb. 18 and Mar. 5.
Yen represented Team BC at the games and said the silver medal win showed she had “come a long way” since she started training in the sport at the age of seven.
While she lost her gold medal game and ultimately placed second, she said it was an experience she would never forget.
“I was a bit disappointed with how I did in the final round and that there’s always the feeling that I could have done better,” said Yen, adding that she injured her shoulder on a ski trip prior to the competition.
“I tried my best and there was a feeling of relief with being done with the competitions given my condition,”
While winning the final game would have been the best outcome, Yen said her semi-finals competition was the most important one.
A win in her semi-finals game would guarantee her a medal (gold or silver), she explained.
“It was the most important game for me, but also the most stressful because I was competing with an athlete whom I’ve gone head-to-head with before,” said Yen.
“The feeling of competing against a familiar face and knowing that that athlete is someone who shoots at a similar level with you can be very intimidating.”
The Princes of Wales secondary student said the Winter Games was "equally about the competition and the experience" with athletes not only pushing their athletic abilities but also meeting others from across Canada.
"Now that it’s over, I feel like these really big competitions are meaningful and memorable to me, but also a bit of sadness."
Moving forward Yen will need to begin practicing shooting outdoors to compete in international archery competitions.
Indoor archery is mainly for younger and beginner archers that shoot at 18-meter targets, whereas, larger competitions like the Pan American Games, Canada Cup or the Olympics are held at outdoor ranges with athletes shooting 70-meter targets.
“My goals are to start shooting outdoors more now because I’m finally at the strength to be able to pull a bow that can shoot the 70 meters,” said Yen.
“I’m not going to lie though, it’s really hard to make yourself go out in Vancouver weather.”