A trio of local athletes made the final steps in the BC Summer Games path to Abbotsford on Wednesday night.
Bateman basketball champion Jayden Gill, Abbotsford Senior rugby star Tausani Levale, and Special Olympian Todd Moore carried the torch into Thunderbird Plaza, and moments later the 100-day countdown was officially on as the Games torch was lit up in front of hundreds.
The moment capped off a night full of performances, speeches from dignitaries and general excitement for the Games, which run from July 21 to 24 in various locations across Abbotsford.
“These are now our games,” said Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun inside the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. “We will be bringing almost 3,000 of the best emerging high performance athletes in the province to our city. These Games are an investment in our community, and will showcase our city.”
Games president Steve Carlton spoke of the ‘rise above, reach beyond’ theme of the Abbotsford BC Summer Games. He said the eagle artwork donated by artist Robert Bateman has inspired and energized the leadership group and volunteers.
Gordon Hogg, the parliamentary secretary for youth support to the minister of community, sport and cultural development for the province of BC, said the Games are all about uniting communities.
“As we count down the days, symbolically now this is where the light and the spirit of togetherness will be,” he said. “Sport unites us and this is where that spirit will be when we have the Games in Abbotsford.”
Earlier, Chief Dalton Silver from the Sumas First Nation welcomed the Games to his people’s traditional lands, and there were performances from White Thunder Dance Theatre, Elementz Dance Crew and Skipping Sensations.
Carlton said volunteers are still being accepted, and those interested can register online at bcgames.org/Games/BCSummerGames/Volunteers.aspx.
The next big event for the Games is the opening ceremonies on July 21.
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