After four days of exciting action the 2018 BC Summer Games have officially wrapped up.
Nearly 2,400 athletes along with 452 coaches, 264 officials and thousands of parents and sports fans travelled to Vancouver Island and the Cowichan Valley from July 19-22. They came to either take part in or watch 18 sports inside gymnasiums and aquatic centres or on athletic fields, riding arenas and local lakes or ocean.
“Congratulations to all the athletes who competed in the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“Your dedication and achievements have inspired so many around the province and I know you will continue to accomplish great things on and off the field. No matter where you placed in competition, participating in sport builds skills that will help you achieve success in every area of your lives.”
The BC Games have always been a stepping stone for young athletes in the province as they move on to national and international competition such as the Canada Games or even the Olympics. Local athletes such as Brent Hayden (swimming), Carol Huynh (wrestling), Georgia Simmerling (ski cross and cycling), Richard Peter (wheelchair basketball) and Michelle Stillwell (wheelchair athletics) have all competed at the BC Games before going on to represent Canada on the world stage.
READ MORE: BC Games wrap – Day 1
READ MORE: BC Games wrap – Day 2
READ MORE: BC Games wrap – Day 3
This year the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence went to rugby athlete Maggie Banks of the Vancouver Island-Central Coast Zone 6. She is a rising star in the sport, trains with the women’s national team and led her team to a gold medal finish at the Games.
And it wasn’t just the athletes making a difference in the community. There were also 2,300 volunteers who came out and greeted visitors, provided security, marshalled athletes, handed out medals and prepared and served 32,000 meals over the four days.
2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the BC Games, which began in Penticton in 1978.
Duncan and the North Cowichan had previously hosted the 1991 BC Winter Games and the region has also hosted the BC Seniors Games and North American Indigenous Games in the past.
The province of British Columbia anticipated an economic impact of $2 million injected into the community, based on a study of the 2014 BC Summer Games in Nanaimo.
At the closing ceremony on Sunday afternoon, the BC Games flag was passed to Darren Snider, President of the Fort St. John organizing committee that will host the BC Winter Games in 2020.
– With video files from Arnold Lim