CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The City of Red Deer, Alta., is already buzzing as the 2019 Canada Winter Games is just 14 weeks away. The event, which takes place Feb. 14-March 3, will be the largest ever held in Red Deer, a city surrounded by rolling hills filled with oil, grain and cattle production. In fact, the two-week multi-sport competition will be the largest event held in Alberta in more than three decades.
The Canada Games, a pinnacle of inter-provincial/territorial sport programs, were first established in 1967 and have been an inspiring platform for athletes ever since. This platform has lifted many Island athletes to the next level, some, all the way to the Olympics. Bill McKinnon’s gold medal in 1969, Jared Connaughton’s double gold in 2005 and Alexa McQuaid’s recent silver in 2017 are just a few proven examples that our little Island can stand on the podium amongst the nation’s best.
Preparations are currently ramping up from Team P.E.I.’s 19 teams and more than 200 athletes. These preparations include not just their practices and many pre-games competitions, but everything from strength and conditioning sessions, nutritional programs and sport psychology. All of these aspects will play a role in ensuring Team P.E.I.’s athletes will be at their best come February.
The mission team, which is tasked with Team P.E.I.’s operations before and during the Games, is led by chef de mission Jo-anne Wallace. The Fortune Cove resident brings a great deal of experience as Red Deer will mark her 11th Games.
“I have such an energetic mission team around me… some great young sport leaders in our province, that are all committed to getting the job done and ensuring that Team P.E.I. team officials and athletes have a positive and memorable experience at the 2019 Games,” said Wallace. “We are all looking forward to it.”
The City of Red Deer is looking to provide the highest level of hospitality for those travelling to the Games, especially for the athletes. Facilities like the new, state-of-the-art Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will do just that. The $88-million project, completed last spring, will be the primary venue at the games and boasts a rink, gymnasium, fitness spaces and more.
Red Deer College will also be a beneficiary of the Games. Its campus will be known as athlete’s village during the Games and a portion of the 3,600 participants will be residing in their new five-storey residence building.
During the next 14 weeks, the Countdown to the Games series will be highlighting Team P.E.I.’s unique stories, athlete backgrounds, and general information on the various teams prepping for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. Stay tuned and up to date by following along here or on Team P.E.I.’s Facebook page.
Go Team PEI!
Jared Murphy is a sport co-ordinator with Sport P.E.I. and will be assistant chef de mission for Team P.E.I. during Week 2 of the 2019 Canada Games.
Mission StaffChef de mission Jo-anne Wallace
A look at Team P.E.I.’s mission staff for the 2019 Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta.
Assistant chef de mission Julie Gilman
Assistant chef de mission Jared Murphy