The Canada Winter Games torch relay made on of it's final stops  at Hunting Hills High School on Friday night commemorating the beginning of the event.

People celebrated with free hot dogs, donuts, live music, and Canada Winter Games souveniers.

In total, the torch went through 48 communities across Canada.

Notably, in attendance was three times Olympic Athlete, and bronze medalist in skeleton, Melissa Hollingsworth who is a great supporter of the Canada Winter Games.

“I think it’s great that Red Deer is hosting all of Canada for a multi-sport event. As an Olympian myself, it is so important for these young athletes to get that experience. They can be fully prepared when they do go onto their first Olympic games and not using that first one as a dry-run,” said Hollingsworth noting, “It’s so unique that we are the only country in the world that does this for our young athletes.”

Hollingsworth believes that the Winter Games brings so much more to Red Deer outside of sport by uniting volunteers, organizers, spectators, and athletes with a nationwide event.

The relay on Friday afternoon left from Hunting Hills High school and made its way to the Centrium for the opening ceremonies. At the opening ceremonies, 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches were welcomed to Red Deer and to the Games.

“Sports building is community building and community building is country building but above all the Canada winter games is about the commitment of this village of 37 million strong,” said City of Red Deer Mayor, Tara Veer opening the ceremonies.

The Canada Winter Games will bring an estimated 20,000 people to Central Alberta and is said to be the biggest event in Central Alberta’s history. It features over 150 events, 19 sports, and an arts and culture festival. Now that the Games have begun they will remain in Red Deer until March 3rd.

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