Just months after becoming Saskatchewan’s most decorated gymnast at the Canada Games, Saskatoon’s Rylee Miller has added another prestigious honour to her trophy case.
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The Canada Games Council officially announced late last week that Miller has been selected as a 2023 recipient of the Roland Michener Award alongside Nova Scotia curler Calan MacIsaac.
Given to one female and one male athlete each Canada Games cycle, the Roland Michener Award lauds athletes who “exemplify leadership, cooperation, and excellence on and off the field of play” during competition.
“It was such an incredible opportunity to win this award,” said Miller. “I didn’t know much about this and then I did my research and saw past recipients. I was in complete shock. There were so many talented athletes at the Canada Winter Games, so it was so surreal that I won it.”
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Miller’s 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island was a breakout event, winning three medals for Team Saskatchewan in one day at just 17 years old to becoming the winningest gymnast at the national competition in the province’s history.
This included a gold in the floor routine, before winning silver and bronze on the beam and uneven bars.
“Obviously medaling and making history for Saskatchewan was a very grand highlight of the games,” said Miller. “I was last up to go on beam and everybody hit such a stellar beam routine. I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to medal in this event, I’m just going to go out and do another routine.’”
“I ended up putting [down] the best routine I’ve ever competed and it was just so crazy having the crowd cheer so loud.”
Miller will begin her collegiate career this fall as she joins the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds gymnastics team, an NCAA Division I program.
According to Miller, winning the Roland Michener Award is the perfect cap to her Team Saskatchewan junior career. She now wants to improve on hera successes south of the border.
“I’m using it as a boost in the gym right now as I’m training in college gymnastics,” said Miller. “I just feel very grateful for everybody who helped me get to this point in college gymnastics. My teammates, my family, my coach and all of Gym Sask for giving me opportunities to help me get here.”
Saskatchewan finished sixth in the medal tally in Prince Edward Island with 20 total medals, winning three gold, seven silver and ten bronze.
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