As the 2016 BC Winter Games came to a close last weekend, Penticton was praised for their volunteers, venues and hospitality during the Games.
Minister of Community Sport, Development and Culture Peter Fassbender said the energy throughout the community was palpable during the Games.
“Penticton has a great history,” said Fassbender. “The South Okanagan has always opened its arms to tourists and we are going to continue to do that. We are blessed to live in British Columbia.”
Fassbender praised former Premier Bill Bennett for his vision in creating the BC Games program, which launched in Penticton in 1978. He added the Games is more than the estimated $1.8 million in economic impact they are expected to have on Penticton and the area.
“The young people are not only here to compete but they are building memories for their future that are just being written this weekend,” said Fassbender.
“Hospitality is in the DNA of the residents of Penticton. The hosting of these BC Winter Games has excelled on so many levels and all of the volunteers and the entire community have so much to be proud of,” said Kelly Mann, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “We look forward to seeing the future success of these 1,700 athletes, coaches and officials who performed so well this weekend.”
Mann said the vision Mr. Bill Bennett had for the games – bringing families together from the four corners of the province under the banner of sport – continues to accomplish that today along with it the Games provide the beginning of a pathway to higher sport performance.
“One thing, though, has remained the same. The spirit and passion so evident on that rainy August day of the very first Games is alive and well here in Penticton,” said Mann. “Judging by what we have seen over these past many months of planning and knowing of your success, Penticton has certainly preserved that dedication and spirit.”
That was apparent by the comments from the young athletes who competed over the four days of the BC WInter Game, Feb. 25-28.
“It was a great experience getting to meet everybody all over B.C. and I can’t wait to do it again. “ said Sarah Friedman, wheelchair basketball athlete from Richmond representing Vancouver Costal Zone 5.
Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games President Bill Bidlake thanked the tireless effort of the over 1,800 volunteers who made the Games a success.
“There is a saying: if you want to go fast, you go alone; but if you want to go far, you go together,” said Bidlake. “This weekend shows how far Penticton will go together in showcasing its passion for sport, community and youth.”
First in number of medals went to Fraser River (Zone 4) with 42 gold, 44 silver, and 21 bronze for a total of 107 medals. Second spot went to Vancouver-Coastal (Zone 5) with 35 gold, 27 silver and 43 bronze for a total of 105. Thompson Okanagan (Zone 2) took third spot with 25 gold, 22 silver and 45 bronze for a total of 92 medals during the games.
For more information, visit www.bcgames.org.