Canada Games re­turns to Al­berta

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - The Drumheller Mail Ph: 403-823-3635

It’s been over 20 years since an Al­berta com­mu­nity hosted the Canada Games, as Red Deer is set to host the games start­ing Fe­bru­ary 15.

The torch will be mak­ing a cel­e­bra­tion stop in Drumheller, one of dozens of com­mu­ni­ties who have hosted events as the torch made its way from the east to west coast be­fore start­ing it’s route in Drumheller.

“One unique thing about our games is we are the first Canada Games ever to at­tempt to host a na­tional torch re­lay across the coun­try,” says the Red Deer games CEO Scott Robin­son, who adds the games are ro­tated be­tween prov­inces and for Al­berta to host the Canada Games is a rare oc­cur­rence hap­pen­ing ev­ery 20 to 25 years.

“It is the biggest event we are host­ing in Al­berta since the 1988 Olympics,” said Pat Lechelt, Chef De Mis­sion for the Al­berta Team. “What is re­ally cool about this is this is the pool that our Olympians come from.”

While Red Deer will be the cen­tral com­mu­nity host­ing the games, events will take place in both Cal­gary at Canada Olympic Park and Nakiska Ski Re­sort Kananaskis.

The Drumheller torch cel­e­bra­tion be­gins at 4:30 on Fri­day, Jan­uary 11 at the Bad­lands Com­mu­nity Fa­cil­ity. At­ten­dees can ex­pect fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties, speeches from dig­ni­taries (MP Kevin Soren­son and Mayor Heather Col­berg have been in­vited), photo op­por­tu­ni­ties with the torch and with the mas­cot Waska­soo.

The last time the games were hosted in the prov­ince was in 1995 in Grande Prairie.

Waska­soo’s name comes from the Cree name for what is now known as the Red Deer River. The say­ing “Waska­soo Seepee” trans­lates to “Elk River” and this was the name orig­i­nally given to the river that flows through our com­mu­nity, by the Cree peo­ple. Set­tlers of the area trans­lated Waska­soo Seepee to Red Deer River af­ter mis­tak­ing elk for Eu­ro­pean red deer. Red Deer was then named af­ter the river.

He has 13 blue, red, grey and yel­low spots on his head and body that shows his pas­sion for Canada. At least one of his spot colours can be found in ev­ery pro­vin­cial or ter­ri­to­rial flag. His antlers form a W for Waska­soo. The spots were a gift from Mother Na­ture be­cause of Waska­soo’s kind­ness to­wards oth­ers - he is a true Cana­dian. Each spot rep­re­sents one of the 10 prov­inces and three ter­ri­to­ries.

He will be vis­it­ing com­mu­ni­ties around Al­berta to share his ex­cite­ment with peo­ple and share the news about the Games! If you see Waska­soo, give him a wave and he will be happy to say hello. Dur­ing Games time, Waska­soo will be trav­el­ling to the dif­fer­ent venues to cheer on the ath­letes.

Sports in­clude alpine and para alpine ski­ing, archery, artis­tic gym­nas­tics, artis­tic swim­ming, bad­minton, biathlon, box­ing, cross coun­try ski­ing, curl­ing, fig­ure skat­ing, freestyle ski­ing, hockey, judo, long track speed skat­ing, ringette, short track speed skat­ing, snow­board­ing, squash, ta­ble ten­nis, tram­po­line, and wheel­chair bas­ket­ball.

The open­ing cer­e­mony be­gins on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 15 in Red Deer, with the clos­ing cer­e­mony sched­uled for March 2. The cer­e­monies and the games will be broad­cast on TSN.

Tick­ets to the games are avail­able on­line tick­et­sal­berta.com at

Af­ter Hours: 403-823-4488

Kyle Smylie Pa­trick Ko­lafa

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