The Tournament Capital Centre was alive once again with the hum of Canada Games fever yesterday (Dec. 5), but only for an hour, as the torch headed for Red Deer stopped by.
Athletes, children and mascots were all part of the celebration as the first coast-to-coast torch relay for the Canada Games came through Kamloops, carried by 2011 Canada Games curling gold medallist Corryn Brown. It's headed to Red Deer where the 2019 Canada Games will commence Feb. 15, 2019.
"It's a wonderful thing, it's a great idea to generate spirit and awareness and excitement across the country," Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, told the crowd. "Let's wish the City of Red Deer really, really well in putting on a fantastic games this coming winter."
He added that Kamloops, the Tournament Capital of Canada, knows a thing or two about hosting sporting events and wished the athletes and their supporters the best of luck.
Mayor Ken Christian talked about enjoying the games with his children when they were held in Kamloops in 1993, and how the building hosting the torch event was intertwined with the games themselves.
"It's part of our history in this city, and it's a history that has led us to embrace sport, and we have an ethos of hosting tournaments," he said. "We have the support of our community to build facilities like this one here because of that seed that was planted in 1993."
The event also featured activities based on Canada Games sports, an elementary school choir singing the national anthem and Waskasoo, the deer mascot of the games, who's also a fan of watermelons and broadcaster Ron MacLean.