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Prince George

Prince George gets into the winter sport spirit

Community gearing up for 2015 Canada Winter Games

Helen Schettini tries out the newly constructed world-class boarder cross course at Tabor Mountain Resort, which will host the BCSA Snowboard Cross as a test run for the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Photo credit, Geoff Anduik, courtesy of Tourism Prince George.

ELIN THORA JENSDOTTIR

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - The passionate spirit of the Prince George community won the city the honour to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Now the focus is to prepare for the largest multi-sporting and cultural event ever to be held in Prince George, or Northern British Columbia for that matter.

The 2015 Canada Winter Games (CWG) will be from February 13 to March 1, 2015. They will bring 2,350 athletes, 950 coaches and officials, up to 4,500 volunteers, hundreds of media and medical professionals and thousands of visitors. It is estimated they will generate an economic benefit of $70 to $90 million to Prince George.

It’s a great opportunity to showcase what Prince George and Northern B.C. have to offer. “For a city of our size (population 71,030) we actually have remarkable facilities. We’re pretty much ready to go,” said Aidan Kelly, CEO of Tourism Prince George. The town is currently in the planning stage, and a few venues and facilities are getting some improvements.

 
The Otway Nordic Centre will host two events before spring breaks through.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Prince George

“A lot of the winter sports want to host larger scale events in towns to test the venues and facilities. [It] gives athletes an opportunity to get into Prince George to compete and have a little trial run,” said Kelly.

Snowboard Cross

The first official test event for CWG is the BCSA Provincial Snowboard Cross, which begins Feb. 3, 2013. It will be open to all ages and all skill levels. The BC Snowboard Association and Canada Snowboard are working with the 2015 CWG crew and Tabor Mountain to support this event.

The newly constructed world-class course on Tabor Mountain has both boarder cross and ski cross. It was designed through various partners, including Jeff Ihaksi, who also designed the course for the 2010 Olympic Games.

Championships Galore

“We have a really awesome Nordic facility here in Prince George,” said Kelly. The Otway Nordic Centre will host the BC Cup Championship at Otway on Feb. 2 & 3, 2013 as well as the BC Biathlon Championships from Feb. 22 to 24, 2013.

As spring attempts to make a break in the snow, the Prince George Golf & Curling Club will host the Tim Horton’s BC Juveniles Curling Championship from March 7 to 10. The facility has eight curling rinks.

The gymnastic championship will test the University facilities and give a contrast to the snow sports in the schedule.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Prince George

The last test event scheduled in early 2013 is the Artistic Gymnastics BC Championships, from April 5 to 7, 2013. The event will be held at the Northern Sport Centre, University of Northern BC.

It Takes a Village...

“All these events are a cool way to highlight Prince George and all the offerings that we have here,” said Kelly.

Tourism Prince George launched Take on PG in January, which exists to educate both locals and visitors of what the community has to offer.

“PG is a very involved community; there are a lot of volunteer groups and organizations in the sport sector,” said Kelly.

“We need a large volunteer base,” said Kelly about other preparations for the CWG.  “There are thousands of people that are required to pull it off.”

The CWG will consist of 21 sports, ranging from traditional winter, traditional summer, Paralympic, and Special Olympics. Athletes competing will range from age 12 to 35.

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