London to host 2024 Ontario Summer Games, 2021 games cancelled

Mayor Ed Holder and Minister Lisa MacLeod on June 22, 2021. Government of Ontario/YouTube

The 2024 Ontario Summer Games will be held in London, Ont., the province announced Tuesday morning, while the 2020 games previously postponed to 2021 will not proceed at all.

Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod provided details at an announcement Tuesday morning.

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London hosted the 2018 games and had also been chosen to host the 2020 games.

However, the 2020 games were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have now been scrapped.

The 2022 games are expected to go ahead as scheduled in Mississauga. It’s unclear whether any allowances will be made for youth who would have competed in 2020 but have aged out of eligibility by 2022. Global News has reached out to the ministry for comment.

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Read more: Mississauga to host 2022 Ontario Summer Games

For the 2024 games, London The City will also be provided with a hosting grant of up to $1 million to offset operational costs like accommodating, feeding and transporting athletes and other Games participants.

“Ontario Summer Games is the province’s largest multi-sport event for athletes between the ages of 12 to 18. In safer times, they’re held every two years,” MacLeod said Tuesday.

“The Games provide an opportunity for athletes to develop their skills and experience high-level competition. Many of these athletes use this experience to prepare themselves for national and international competitions.”

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London Mayor Ed Holder said the city will welcome 3,400 of Ontario’s top athletes, “competing in 19 different sports across our city.”

“The economic impact for London is projected at some $5 million, but you know what’s truly priceless? It’s the memories and community spirit these types of games generate. And we saw that three years ago when London hosted the 2018 Ontario Summer Games.”

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Christine Stapleton, director of sport and recreation at Western University and Tourism London board chair, added that “major construction is currently underway” at the university’s sport and residence facilities, including its stadium. She added that upgrades will be starting soon at the Thompson Recreation Athletic Centre.

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“Western has also made extensive energy retrofits and furniture upgrades to our residences, and plans are underway for major capital expenditures over the short and long term, which will keep Western’s residences world class.”

While the 2024 Games are three years away, MacLeod framed the announcement as a signal of hope, providing an opportunity to plan for something post-pandemic.

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