By Submitted Article on February 14, 2020.
Typical Canadian sub-zero winter temperatures were little deterrent to Lethbridge’s Coulee Classic Ice Dragons, as they medalled in their inaugural entry at the IIDBF World Ice Dragon Boat Championships in Ottawa over the weekend.
“We came to Ottawa with no ice dragon boating experience, and the simple expectation of learning something new and having fun in our nation’s capital,” said team captain Carol Block. “And to think a group of prairie girls are heading home from a world-class competition as winners is just quite incredible.”
The 12-member Ice Dragons, an ancillary of the Dragon Boat Association of Southern Alberta (DASA) Coulee Classic Dragons (CCD), women’s 50-plus paddling team, placed second behind the Vermont (U.S.) Fire entry, earning a silver medal in the women’s division of the Shiver and Giver fundraising races.
Hosted by the Beavertails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, more than 100 teams from around the globe, including Japan, China, Ireland and New Zealand, participated in the 2020 international event, the largest ice dragon boat championships in the world.
Racing on the Rideau Canal Skateway, the competition is a highlight of the capital region’s annual Winterlude Festival, combining the roots of dragon boating as a Chinese sport and Canadian winter sport culture.