Team BC is ready to take on the best athletes in the country at the 2017 Canada Summer Games which opened today in Winnipeg. 199 athletes and 40 coaches, managers and technical support staff arrived yesterday for the first week of competition in 11 sports.
Team BC gathered at the University of Manitoba for an electrifying pep rally to get energized for the week ahead. It was a chance for athletes from the various sports to come together as one team and take part in some fun activities in advance of going to their venues for training sessions and competition this weekend. Victoria rower Piper Battersby was presented with the inaugural Athlete Excellence Award for her outstanding contributions to community leadership, sport and academics.
The Province of BC Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism and two-time Olympian Ravi Kahlon greeted the athletes as they arrived for the Opening Ceremony and wished them the best of luck in their efforts. He presented Team BC’s Flag Bearer and soccer player, Emma Regan (Burnaby), with a British Columbia flag.
Team BC entered the Opening Ceremony at the Bell MTS Centre wearing shirts featuring the Team BC UNITE design, a custom First Nations art design that represents two teams, two worlds, embracing diversity, respect, perseverance and excellence. It is the same design that Team BC athletes wore at the recently concluded North American Indigenous Games.
Team BC entered the Opening Ceremony to cheers from the large crowd and Regan proudly waived the British Columbia flag followed by her soccer teammates. Other Team BC athletes took part in the more than two-hour Ceremony including rower Antonia Frappell of Victoria who participated in a symbolic water ceremony. To recognize the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games, Team BC athletes Rebecca Landry (Basketball) of Prince George, Olivia Morgan-Cherchas (Basketball) of Kamloops and Vladislav Moldavanov (Athletics) of Burnaby held placards with the names of their home communities who were previous hosts of the Canada Games. The ceremony featured more than 800 performers with music and dance and a nod to previous Games held over the last 50 years.
A highlight for many athletes was attempting to get a coveted selfie with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they entered the arena. As he passionately addressed the athletes, the Prime Minister told them they are the future but also the present. “You are not just athletes, but leaders today. Everything you do, your drive, your determination, your engagement, means we are in great hands.”
Competition begins Saturday for Team BC with baseball, softball, basketball and soccer games on the schedule.
RaviKahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism
“On behalf of Premier John Horgan and Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, congratulations to Team BC and best wishes for success at the 2017 Canada Summer Games. All the organizations, individuals – and of course the families back home – deserve recognition and thanks for their great support of the inspiring athletes representing British Columbia.”
Rob Needham, Team BC – Chef de Mission
“After years of planning it is exciting to see Team BC here in Winnipeg ready to proudly represent our province at the 2017 Canada Summer Games. Team BC athletes are BC’s best and are incredible role models for their sport, hometown, and our province. I know that everyone will strive for top performances on the field of play while also acting as tremendous ambassadors for Team BC.