Athletes prepare to enter the track for opening ceremonies.

Athletes prepare to enter the track for opening ceremonies.

Mission BC Winter Games opening ceremonies draw hundreds

Event centre was abuzz with young athletes, entertainment



Coralee Oakes, BC minister of community, sport and cultural development, lit the torch to officially open the 2014 B.C. Winter Games Thursday evening at Mission Raceway Park.

More than 1,000 people attended the opening ceremonies for the Games and many braved the wind and cold temperatures throughout the evening to witness the event.

The ceremony began at 7 p.m. with some drumming from the Leq’a:mel First Nations who led the dignitaries and other VIPs onto the stage. Global Television’s Steve Darling emceed the event and energized the audience by reminding the crowd of the gold medals won in Sochi earlier today by the women’s hockey team and curling team.

“The athletes at the B.C. Games are the best young developing athletes this province has to offer,” said Darling. “The B.C. Games are an important stepping stone for athletes, coaches and officials to move on to higher levels of competition, like national teams, Canada Games, and eventually the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

More than 1,300 athletes from across the province are in Mission for the Games, which run from Feb. 21-23 at various locations. Competitors will be going for gold in one of 18 sports.

Athletes represent one of eight zones in the province: Kootenays, Thompson-Okanagan, Fraser River-Delta, Vancouver-Squamish, Vancouver Island-Central Coast, North West, Cariboo-North East, and Fraser Valley.

Fraser Valley has the largest team with 230 athletes and 51 coaches.

Five athletes from Mission will compete for Fraser Valley: Janie Green, Shivani Bahadur, and Adam Holtby in speed skating, and Tamara Skelstad and Kristofer Uppan in gymnastics.

Young athletes filled half of the quarter-mile strip at Mission Raceway Park to enjoy a dance titled Volunteer Movement and Mission’s 2014 B.C. Winter Games theme song Bring on the Games, written by local musician Jennie Bice.

Volunteer Movement was performed by 47 youth ranging in age from seven to 18.

Olympic swimmer Brent Hayden was also recognized during the night, as well as his wife, singer Nadine Zarifen, who led the crowd in singing the national anthem.

Hayden called on speed skater Janie Green to take the Athletes Oath on behalf of all athletes in the Games.

Competition begins Friday, Feb. 21, and runs throughout the weekend. The closing ceremonies take place on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. at Mission Raceway Park.

Keep checking missioncityrecord.com and the BCGames tab on this site for ongoing coverage throughout the Games.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

According to Statistics Canada, new housing starts and value of building permits in Greater Victoria rose in January 2021 compared to January 2020. (Black Press Media File)
New housing starts, value of building permits up in Greater Victoria

Cost of new housing also rising in region, now in excess of $1.15 million for a new detached home

The designation of March as Distracted Driving Awareness Month is among several measures designed to stop the use of hand-held phones. In 2018, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP, North Saanich Fire, BC Ambulance and ICBC partnered with Parkland drama students who played the role of driver, passenger and witness to simulate a car crash designed to prevent students from texting and driving. (Black Press Media File)
Police across Greater Victoria step up enforcement of distracted driving

More than a third of B.C. drivers admit to using phone while driving, even as most denounce practice

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read