18-year-old Airdronian Haley Priest made Airdrie proud, coming home with a gold medal and a fourth-place finish at the Canada Winter Games.

Priest captured the gold in the mixed-teams compound archery competition with colleague Adam Berge from Sturgeon County, and she also placed fourth in the female compound archery competition.

"My fourth-place finish, I can't say it's exactly what I wanted. But I'm still definitely proud of it. It was a roller coaster of emotions."

After her first qualifying day Priest was sitting in first place, but after re-aggravating a previous wrist injury, it hindered her shooting for the rest of the competition.

"I didn't get to pull out the scores that I exactly wanted to. But I was still sitting in third overall. And then when it came to the head-to-head matches, I ended up fourth."

Next up for Priest, was the mixed-teams event, which went the way she wanted even though it came down to the wire.

"I was kind of doing the math in my head with scores. So I knew where we were sitting, we had a two-point lead over Ontario and then it was a one-point lead coming down to the very last arrow that my teammate Adam had to shoot."

Luckily her teammate secured the win and the gold medal for them with the final arrow.

"This breath of fresh air kind of just took over me and I felt like I could breathe again."

HaleyHaley with her teammate Adam.

Priest's love for Archery started at a young age, she was around 11 years old and her family liked to go to the gun range and shoot rifles. One day she asked her parents if she could try shooting a bow. After that day she was hooked, Archery became her safe place when things started going south.

When asked about what is next for her Archery career, she mentioned she plans to keep representing Airdrie in a sport she loves.

"I'm definitely going to get more into outdoors this year and see if I can make Team Canada and possibly go to World Juniors this year."

Priest's fondest memory from her experience at the Winter Games was seeing her recurve archery teammates win bronze in mixed teams, as that meant everybody would be coming home with a medal.

"When I saw that Luke Smollett [Rocky View County] and Alison Dewling [Wetaskiwin] are shooting for bronze I was so excited. I wanted Alison to feel what we [have] both been feeling with winning medals and coming home with one. It came down to Aliso shooting her last shot and she nailed it right in the middle of the target. I don't know if I've ever screamed louder in my life."

Feeling the support from her teammates, coaches, Airdrie and her parents, she definitely felt the love. With her parents being at the Winter Games with her, it was definitely a big stress relief, she explained.

"My mom and dad both got to fly out there and watch me all week. My brother was watching the live stream, I had aunties and uncles in Ontario watching live stream like [there was] so much love. Even though I was slightly disappointed with my performance in taking fourth, everybody around me was still super proud."

Currently, Priest is in the middle of a gap year with plans of going to nursing school but is still unsure if that is what will happen right now. If those goals weren't lofty enough already, she's also recently become a budding entrepreneur, taking over a clothing brand.

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