The Maple Ridge 2024 BC Summer Games are a year away, and on Wednesday morning, July 19, city council and local organizers marked the occasion by raising BC Games flags at city hall.
It’s a milestone that signals much work ahead, as the city prepares to host more than 3,500 athletes, coaches, and sports officials from around B.C. next summer. The games are scheduled to run from July 18 to July 21, 2024.
“I know that a ceremony like this took place in 2019, when the city was one year away from the 2020 Games that were going to be hosted in our community,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Dan Ruimy.
“Unfortunately, the global pandemic resulted in those Games being cancelled, and since then our MLAs were strong advocates for us to get the next available Games in 2024.”
He noted the year 2024 will also mark the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Maple Ridge.
“So we get to invite over 3,000 athletes, coaches, sports technical experts, and proud parents and family members to our community on the eve of that milestone birthday celebration!”
Ruimy gave a nod to Games president Laura Butler, to vice-president and former mayor Ernie Daykin, and to all volunteers who will work on the event.
“The next 12 months we will require hundreds of volunteers to work with these community leaders for us to ensure that the 2024 BC Summer Games are a success and special memory for all of the participants,” said Ruimy.
He called volunteerism one of the city’s “super powers.”
“The BC Summer Games celebrate youth sports and create development opportunities for our athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers. Our local volunteers have helped generations of youth enjoy the benefits of sports and competition, and provided a launching pad for many to reach the international stage. We will draw on that incredible spirit of volunteerism in the next year,” Ruimy added.
Gabe Liosis spoke on behalf of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare, saying “As the former minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, Lisa could not be prouder that our home will also become the home for the hundreds of thousands of spectators and supporters who will arrive here for the Games, and who share the same love of sport as all of us here today.
“The BC Summer Games represent more than just a sporting event. They embody the spirit of unity, teamwork, and community that is so important to us all,” Liosis added.
Butler was the MC for the event, which was watched by groups of athletes who may be taking part in the competition, as well as their coaches and other community members.
“As we accept the flag, we also accept the responsibility to ensure that the competitors, coaches, and officials who will come from every part of B.C. will go home with memories of an incredible competition, and of the hospitality and generosity of our city,” said Butler.
“This is when it all begins,” said Butler. “It’s exciting to think ahead to one year from today, when we will gather again for the opening ceremonies and say ‘Welcome to Maple Ridge – Let the Games begin’!”
The BC Winter and BC Summer Games are British Columbia’s biennial celebration of sport and community. Since 1978, the BC Games have had more than 350,000 participants and volunteers, plus thousands more attend as spectators and supporters.
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