The 2015 Western Canada Summer Games came to a close in Wood Buffalo, Alberta with a wonderful celebration at Shell Place on Sunday.
After 10 days of celebration, athletic accomplishments, and team spirit the Team BC athletes, coaches, mangers and mission staff have returned to their home communities to share their successes and experiences.
“On behalf of Premier Christy Clark and the Government of British Columbia, I want to thank all of the athletes, coaches and staff who worked so tirelessly and represented our Province with so much pride,” said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development. “It is an honour to see so many of you bringing home medals from the Western Canada Summer Games and I look forward to what you can all accomplish in the future for this Province and this country.”
334 athletes showcased their commitment to sport through 280 podium performances including 134 gold, 85 silver, 61 bronze. Team BC topped the medal count ahead of Alberta and Manitoba. The 2015 medal count is an increase from the 255 medals won at the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games.
BC Games alumni represented 44% of Team BC and 147 alumni won or contributed to the medal count. These athletes have had the opportunity to compete in a multisport environment which will be great benefit as they move forward to larger competitions. At the 2015 Pan Am Games, Team BC alumni from past Western Canada Games won medals for Team Canada including Evan Dunfee (race walk), Liz Gleadle (javelin) and Luke Reilly (swimming).
Jesse Shade, a Special Olympics swimmer from Campbell River, was selected as the Team BC flag bearer and proudly led the team into the Closing Ceremony where BC was awarded the Western Canada Summer Games trophy. This trophy is awarded to the team with the highest aggregate points, and Team BC has won the trophy at every Games since the inception of the Western Canada Summer Games in 1975.
“I am incredibly proud of our entire team,” said Diane St-Denis, Team BC Chef de Mission. The athletes, coaches and managers showed tremendous pride and spirit both on and off the field of play and represented our province to the very best of their ability. The venues were top notch, the volunteers passionate about their community, and the memories will last a lifetime.”
Team BC also showed that we are leaders and ambassadors for sport and in our communities by contributing to the Team BC legacy project that supported MiKids, an organization in Fort McMurray that provides financial assistance to youth to help them participate in sport and recreation programs. Team BC provided a $1552 cash donation to MiKids.
The next Games for Team BC are the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg. The next Western Canada Summer Games will be held in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in 2019.