Welcome to the 2019 Canada Winter Games
Team Sask Arrival Day in Red Deer
Welcome to the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer Alberta! Before any athlete can compete against the best in the nation, they have to get to Red Deer first. And that means one thing to prairie folks…a road trip.
While athletes wind their way up from Regina, on to Saskatoon, and finally across to Red Deer, Team Sask Mission Staff are hard at work at Red Deer College preparing accommodations, credentials, and of course, a friendly flag waving welcome committee.
Team Sask Mission Staff
Team Sask has a lot of exciting stories we want to bring to life and share with the rest of Saskatchewan and all of Canada here at Stories.TeamSask.ca.
We have also introduced our first Hot Cakes & Hot Takes with Chef de Mission, Mark Bracken, and will be posting our morning show every day of the games on the Team Sask Facebook page. We want to start everyone’s day with some inside information from the Mission Staff into what is going on in Red Deer at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, so everyone who has supported these athletes can follow along on the journey at home, and learn more about what goes into an event of this magnitude.
For some athletes, the 9 hour+ bus ride from Regina to Red Deer goes beyond what even prairie people are used to, so the smiles coming off the bus might not be all about seeing us waving flags and welcoming them to Red Deer. They are merely smiles of relief.
With that said, our Mission Staff, Coaches, Volunteers, and Team Managers have done a great job organizing all of the equipment and gear with very little hiccups getting everyone to Red Deer via bus. The same can’t be said for some provinces having to fly with bags showing up late, or missing all together.
2019 Canada Winter Games Orientation
Road trips are synonymous with snacking, but not for all athletes. Team Sask boxers on the bus aren’t able to freely partake due to having daily weigh-ins the morning of competition. “It’s part of their discipline” says Quinn Neald out of Newline Boxing Academy in Regina, but coach Clinton Ducharme is quick to say that “every sport has their own type of discipline”. A good example of how the games experience will differ for all athletes depending on their sport.
For all of the athletes we speak to, riding a bus with a team to competition isn’t that unusual.
What is truly unique about this trip, is the photos above with a sea of green jackets welcoming them. “That’s when it got real for us”, says Freestyle Skiing athlete George Bobyn of Saskatoon. This is a sentiment echoed throughout discussions with the athletes as we move to Athlete Orientation.
With a long day behind the Athletes, Volunteers, and Mission Staff, it’s finally time to get settled into accommodations. The 2019 Canada Winter Games have done a marvelous job organizing the arrival of over 3600 athletes on the same day, but of course, there are always hiccups.
When our Wheelchair Basketball team arrives at their home for the next week, the elevator is not working — with some Team Alberta members locked inside.
But, that doesn’t slow this team down, and epitomizes what Canada Games are all about. Team members not requiring the lift load up with bags, and make the trek up the five flights of stairs to rooms, without hesitation. Sportsmanship, camaraderie, and Saskatchewan pride is front and centre — before competition even begins.
Team Sask is settled. Venues are ready. The 2019 Canada Winter Games are upon us.
We have an exciting couple weeks ahead of us, and for these athletes, an experience they won’t soon forget. We can’t thank the 2019 Canada Games Volunteers and Organizing Committee enough for a relatively seamless day given the size of the task today.
From all of us on the Team Sask Mission Staff. Welcome to Red Deer! Have a great night of rest, and see you all at the opening ceremonies tomorrow night!