You know the athletes are excited.
Those heading to Vernon from the province’s farthest reaches arrived at the Kelowna Airport Wednesday, March 22, ahead of the Greater Vernon B.C. Winter Games and got a smidge of a lecture upon arrival.
“In the arrivals lounge, they were making noise with their cowbells and were asked nicely to tone it down,” chuckled Cindy Masters, the vice-president of the Greater Vernon B.C. Winter Games committee.
The remainder of athletes, coaches and officials arrive in Vernon today, Thursday.
“I’m so excited,” said Masters, who has spent nearly two years as a volunteer director for these Games which were cancelled in 2022 due to the pandemic.
“The opening ceremonies are tonight (Kal Tire Place). We encourage all Vernonites to come out. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7. Let’s welcome these athletes to Vernon and show them how much fun we can have.”
The opening ceremonies are free of charge.
Prior to the arrival of the out-of-town athletes, coaches and officials, the local Games committee will be dotting the final Is and crossing the final Ts.
“There’s just last-minute things to do,” said Masters. “All the chairpersons, directors and volunteers are working hard.”
Speaking of volunteers, no more are required. The Games will have more than 1,500 people helping out.
“Crossing the 1,500 mark is really amazing,” said Masters. “We appreciate everyone who signed up.”
Competition begins Friday and ends Sunday at 12 p.m. All events are open to the public free of charge.
Events and venues include:
• Alpine skiing – SilverStar Mountain Resort;
• Archery – Vernon Secondary School;
• Artistic Gymnastics – Priest Valley Gym;
• Badminton – Kelowna Badminton Club;
• Biathlon – Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre;
• Cross-Country Skiing (includes Para) – Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre;
• Curling – Vernon Curling Club;
• Figure Skating – Priest Valley Arena;
• Freestyle Skiing – SilverStar Mountain Resort;
• Judo – Clarence Fulton Secondary School;
• Karate – Kalamalka Secondary School;
• Rhythmic Gymnastics – W.L. Seaton Secondary School;
• Ringette – Kal Tire Place North;
• Snowboarding – SilverStar Mountain Resort;
• Wheelchair Basketball – Lavington Elementary School.