BC Winter Games opening ceremonies tonight at Vernon's Kal Tire Place

Games launch tonight

The BC Winter Games kick off with opening ceremonies this evening at Vernon's Kal Tire Place arena.

About 900 of the province’s top young athletes are arriving in Greater Vernon to compete in 15 sports Friday through Sunday.

"From Prince George to Kelowna, the BC Winter Games participants represent 122 communities from all corners of the province," says Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

"These Games bring people together and strengthen community connections, while also generating significant benefits."

The Games were originally scheduled to take place in 2022, but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, flooding and wildfires. The official name of the event remains the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games.

Tonights ceremonies begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30.

"This event is the culmination of years of hard work from the host community and our participants," says Alison Noble, president and CEO of the BC Games Society.

More than 300 coaches, 140 officials, and an army of 1,400 volunteers will help stage the events.

"We are ready and thrilled to be welcoming B.C.'s top athletes, coaches and officials to Greater Vernon," says Games president Nicky Dunlop. "The way that our community has rallied around these Games to deliver an exceptional experience for the athletes has been amazing, and we can't wait to kick off this celebration of sport."

The BC Winter and BC Summer Games were established in 1978.

Vernon hosted the Winter Games in 1992 and 2012, and the Summer Games in 1982.

Athletes will compete in alpine skiing, archery, artistic gymnastics, badminton, biathlon, cross-country skiing (including para), curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, judo, karate, rhythmic gymnastics, ringette, snowboarding, and wheelchair basketball.

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