2016 BC Winter Games returns to its roots
For the fourth time since it began in 1978, the BC Games are returning to Penticton. One thousand, four hundred and ninety five athletes from around B.C. are set to take over the city for the 28th edition of the winter games.
Penticton first hosted the inaugural BC Summer Games in 1978 along with the 1995 summer games and the 1990 winter games.
The 2016 Games will feature 17 sports, including three sports for paraplegic athletes. Participants will range in age from nine to 17 in able-bodied competition, while in disabled competition the age range is from 14 to 45.
Many well-known B.C. athletes got their start at the Games. Eighteen Games alumni represented Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, Russia. Names like Jim Armstrong (1997), Jamie Benn (2004), Josh Dueck (2006), Sonja Gaudet (2002), Denny Morrison (2000), Carey Price (2002) and Kelsey Serwa (2002) all got their start at the BC Games before becoming medallists at the Olympic level.
According to the BC Winter Games Society, this year’s games will require 2,000 volunteers and comes with a price tag of $620,000. They estimate volunteers will provide 25,000 meals and 3,500 foam mattresses over the course of the four day event.
Based on a study conducted at the 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission, the society estimates that this year’s games will provide an economic impact of $1.6 million dollars to the City of Penticton.
The Games kick off on Feb. 25 and will run until Feb. 28.
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