Written by Maury Wrubleski

Sask Sport is asking Saskatchewan residents to be Saskatchewan Proud and cheer on the home grown men and women heading to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Those athletes and officials hail from all over the province, including in our own neck of the woods.

Cianna Lieffers of Cudworth will be heading over as a lines official in hockey. The long time official has ties to many hockey organizations in the province including the SJHL In an interview from 2020, Lieffers said she had originally targeted 2026 as her potential debut in Olympic officiating, but she and long time colleague Alexandra Blair have been selected to officiate women’s hockey. 

A media release from Sask Sport notes that the Saskatchewan Olympic contingent for the Beijing Games features 15 individuals, including six athletes, three coaches, four mission and support staff and two officials, many of whom are making repeat appearances.

Bobsleigh brakeman Ben Coakwell, speed skater Marsha Hudey and snowboarder Mark McMorris will each be attending their third consecutive Olympics, while women’s hockey player Emily Clark will be competing in her second Games. Men’s hockey player Adam Cracknell and speed skater Graeme Fish will make their Olympic debut.

“Best of luck to all of our Saskatchewan athletes, coaches, and officials travelling to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing to represent Canada,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. “Despite the challenging times we find ourselves in, your hard work, dedication and perseverance has given you the opportunity to showcase your abilities on the world’s biggest stage. The Government of Saskatchewan and the people of Saskatchewan will be cheering you on and wishing you all the best.”

Multi-Olympic medallist Catriona Le May Doan is making her 11th trip to the Games, this time as the Chef de Mission for all of Team Canada. She’s previously attended as an athlete, a member of the media and Mission Staff.

On the coaching front, Todd McClements will accompany the Canadian long track speed skating team after previously attending the 2014 Games in Sochi with the team, while Adam Burwell will work with the Canadian snowboard team for the second Games in a row. Lyndon Rush will join the Canadian bobsleigh team for the second straight Games after competing in two as an athlete.

Physiotherapist Mark Jesney will also work with the long track speed skating team, Chris Dornan will be the media attaché for bobsleigh and skeleton and Lisa Hoffart will be working as member of the Canadian Mission Staff with the outfitting team.

“Each member of this Olympic contingent is an incredible ambassador for sport in Saskatchewan,” said Lance Dudar, Sask Sport Chair. “On behalf of our province’s amateur sport community, I would like to congratulate each of these athletes, coaches, mission and support staff, as well as the officials on their determination and resoluteness to reach the Games. I’d also like to thank all of those individuals who supported them along the way. Please follow along with Sask Sport, Sask Lotteries and the Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan during the Games to show each of them that you are Sask Proud.”

To find out more about our Saskatchewan contingent to the Olympics, check out cheeronsask.ca.