Stonewall's Giebelhaus on target for Canada Winter Games

Stonewall's Kadin Giebelhaus (right, pictured with mixed team partner Cleo Wermann-Thorn) will compete in the individual male recurve archery event for Manitoba at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. (Facebook/Archers and Bowhunters Association of Manitoba)

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Stonewall’s Kadin Giebelhaus will make his out-of-province competition debut on the biggest of stages.

The 14-year-old is one of four athletes selected to compete for Manitoba in archery at the 2019 Canada Winter Games at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alta. from Feb. 26 to March 1. He is the only Manitoban to compete in the male individual recurve event, and will be entered in the mixed team recurve event with fellow 14-year-old Cleo Wermann-Thorn of Winnipeg.

“I was very excited (to be selected). This is my first time competing nationally,” he said.

Giebelhaus had actually finished second in Manitoba’s selection process for his event in Red Deer, but Brody Wilson, who had finished first and had previously medalled in nationals, withdrew due to hockey commitments. Nonetheless, making the Canada Games is the biggest accomplishment for the Stonewall Collegiate student who took up the sport only five years ago.

“I was at a camp once and I tried shooting. Then, when I went home, I was in love with it and I decided to go out and buy a bow, started taking lessons, and later started shooting competitively,” Giebelhaus added.

A member of the Flatlanders Archery Club in Winnipeg, he competed for Winnipeg Gold at last year’s Power Smart Manitoba Winter Games in Thompson, winning silver in the mixed team event and finishing fifth in the individual event. Giebelhaus also won gold in both indoor and outdoor provincials in the male cub (14 years and under) recurve event and was ranked 11th nationally among male cub recurve archers in the Canadian Regional Indoor Championships (held at various sites across Canada).

He is looking to continue the recent tradition of successful archers from the Interlake. Selkirk’s Doris Jones, who won gold at the 2003 Canada Winter Games in Bathurst and Campbellton, N.B., went on to win multiple Canadian championships and two silver medals representing Canada at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Another Stonewall archer Kevin Tataryn won five World Cup medals and was a two-time worlds medallist (silver in 2015, bronze in 2003) for Canada in the men’s team event.

However, Giebelhaus differs from both Jones and Tataryn in that while both of those archers competed with the compound bow, he uses the classical recurve, the only one used in Olympic archery.

“Recurve is like your traditional Robin Hood bow, instead it has stabilizers and sights on it. Compound, it’s a bit shorter and it has two big wheels, which are called cams, on the top of the bottom of the bow,” he explained.

Giebelhaus didn’t have a specific goal for the Canada Games, but he said he would like to shoot his best.

“To try and have fun and learn some new things. In the future, I just hope to start competing at higher events,” he added.

Archery was first competed at the 1977 Canada Summer Games in St. John’s, N.L. as an outdoor event, but switched to the Canada Winter Games in 2003 as an indoor event. Archers will shoot targets at 18 metres, starting in the qualifying rounds which determine seeding in match play.

Manitoba’s Keenan Brown won two gold medals at the 2015 Games in Prince George, B.C. in the compound individual male and mixed team (with 2019 returnee Bryanne Lameg) events.