The Canada Winter Games officially came to a close on Saturday, March 2nd.
Team Alberta gained four more gold medals in the mixed cross country team relay, squash, badminton, and finally an exciting victory in women’s hockey to end the games on Saturday afternoon.
In total, Alberta ended the Winter Games with 36 gold medals, 33 silver medals, and 31 bronze medals totaling to 100 medals. In the Winter Games standings, Alberta came in third after a long fought neck and neck battle for 2nd place with Team Ontario. Ontario took second place while Quebec took first place.
In addition to medals won by individual athletes, Team Alberta claimed the Centennial Cup and the Jack Pelech award. The Centennial Cup is awarded to the team that shows the greatest improvement from one years’ winter or summer games to another. The Jack Pelech Award is awarded to the team demonstrating the most competitive performance, good sportsmanship, fair play, cooperation, and friendship.
Lyn Radford, Board Chair for the 2019 Canada Winter Games grew emotional in congratulating athletes, teams, and coaches in their awards, “To me, the whole games from start to finish has been magical. I am so proud of the team we nailed everything and how can you beat that final women’s hockey game when Alberta wins?”
The Red Deer 2019 Canada Winter Games will now be known as the most successful Winter Games in Alberta`s history. Red Deer welcomed 3,600 participants, an astounding 5,000 volunteers, and 20,000 visitors. The games held 19 sports events and 10 nights of cultural entertainment.
“Red Deer really hit it out of the park. I am going to try to be modest, but it’s hard to be modest. That’s it, they did hit it out of the park,” added Radford stating that the only thing she would have changed if she could have would have been the weather.
Despite the recent cold spell, Radford doesn’t believe that the cold impacted the turnout at the events very much at all.
“Our facilities and our venues were just about at capacity for everything and so the brutal cold really helped us for the indoor events because people were looking for something to do. The outdoor ones weren’t ticketed events anyways…” Radford added, “The brutal cold it changed it a bit but I don’t think it changed it by much.”
Tara Veer, the City Red Deer Mayor was incredibly pleased by the way Red Deer and surrounding communities came together for the Winter Game reiterating Red Deer’s theme for the games: ‘this is our moment’.
“People from across the country have commented on the welcoming spirit that Red Deerians and Central Albertans gave and the 5,000 plus volunteers that pulled that off. There really was community spirit like no other and we’ve set an example for the rest of the nation.”
It was a Winter Games to go down in Alberta’s history all thanks to the many wonderful volunteers and welcoming spirit of Central Alberta.