Sport PEI Finalists Senior Male
Senior Male Athlete of the Year Mark Arendz – Para Nordic & Biathlon Hartsville’s Mark Arendz competed in his third Paralympic Games in 2018 and was a dominant force for Canada. The Para Nordic skier took home six medals – the most medals ever won by a Canadian in a single Paralympic Winter Games – including one gold, two silver and three bronze. For his accomplishments, Mark was honored by his nation and asked to be the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies.
The accomplishments of Mark in 2018 go un-matched in PEI history. Since returning from the Paralympics, Mark has seen the province’s only ski pack named in his honour, and he was named a member of the Order of PEI. The accolades continued when Mark was named Male Athlete of the Year by the Canadian Paralympic Committee and 2018 Newsmaker of the year by The Guardian.
Although his 2018/19 season is still young, Mark has managed to fit in another cross country Gold at the IPC Nordic World Cup in Finland, and two silver medals at the same event in Biathlon. He is currently ranked second in the world by the World Para Nordic Skiing and Biathlon association. Not sure if Mark can top 2018, but he’s up for the challenge. His successes are now the benchmark he will aim to surpass.
Billy Bridges – Sledge Hockey As an 18-year veteran of the Canadian Sledge hockey team, Billy Bridges is one of the greatest Canadian players of all time.
Billy is always a major scoring threat with his 80 mph slap shot. He has participated in five Paralympic Games where he’s twice earned All-Star accolades and is a four-time World Champion and two-time tournament MVP Bridges won his third career Paralympic Winter Games medal in 2018 helping to lead Canada to a silver medal. He was the lone scorer for Team Canada in their overtime loss to the United States. Billy was also one of the top point scorers of the tournament with 10 points, 6 goals and 4 assists.
The City of Summerside named a new accessible playground the Billy Bridges Park to honour the sledge hockey player. The revamped park will feature equipment that is inclusive to all children of any ability. Now a father to Kensi, Billy looks forward to having a park where he can do all the things that he loved to do when I was a kid with her.
Brett Gallant – Curling Brett Gallant enjoyed another outstanding year with Team Gushue.
The team finished the 2017/18 season ranked 1st in the country and enjoyed a second straight Canadian Men’s Curling Championship at the Brier with a 6-4 win over Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher. Brett was named a First Team All Star during the event.
Team Gushue came up just short of repeating as World Men’s Curling Champions settling for a silver against Team Sweden.
Now starting the new four-year cycle, Brett Gallant has one major accomplishment in mind and its representing Canada at the 2022 Olympic Games.