‘The kids are happy’
Gallant says four-day event a success
Emile Gallant had one main criteria for evaluating the Acadian Games after the four-day event concluded earlier this week in Charlottetown.
And, said the president of the Games organizing committee, judging by the feedback from many of the 1,391 Francophone male and female athletes and mission staff from four provinces things went smashingly well.
“If the athletes and (mission staff) went home happy and enjoyed their stay, that’s a success,” said Gallant. “Overall, we were very, very happy with the way the Games went.”
The Games ran from June 26 to 30 with competitions taking place June 27 to 30 in venues in Charlottetown and Winsloe.
P.E.I. finished with 12 medals, 11 in track and field, paced by Malcolm Gilman’s golds in discus and javelin, and Luc Gallant’s gold in 2,000 metres.
Silver medals went to Bianca Roche and Katelyn Milligan in14and 15-year-old girls high jump and shot put, respectively.
South-East from New Brunswick led the field with 49 medals, including 20 gold.
Overall, 200 medals were handed out to athletes on the nine teams attending the Games.
In this version, the Games added mountain biking, ultimate Frisbee and para-track events, as well as a cultural portion, with an improv event and a battle of the bands, to entice kids who aren’t athletes into the Acadian mix.
Finalists in the improv and battle of the bands affairs finished their events in front of all the athletes and parents on the last day. That’s performing for about 1,200 people.
“All the athletes were at their finals. We wanted art to get some really good exposure (and) not just be there as a token,” said Gallant.
The Island group, 112 Accords, finished second in the battle of the bands competition.
These Games were Gallant’s second as committee president. He helped lead the charge 25 years ago when the Games were in the Evangeline arena.
Gallant said these days athletes are more competitive as many are aiming for the Canada Games and other events.
But much remains the same, such as the hard work put in by the hundreds of volunteers at the sites and others behind the scenes during the past two years.
“When it comes together ( for the four days) it’s full-time 100 per cent. You feel good about what you did. The kids are happy.”
On the web at http://2015.jeuxdelacadie.org.
Gabriel Theriault, left, South-East, and Jolaine Lagace, Restigouche, play mixed mini hand-ball Monday at UPEI as part of the Acadian Games. Restigouche won 18-16.