What do boxer Lennox Lewis, distance runner Reid Coolsaet and swimmer Alexander Elliott have in common?
Yes, they’re all local heroes in the Waterloo Region and Guelph areas for rising to the top of their sports and competing for Canada at the Olympics and Paralympic Games.
But they share something else in common — along the way each competed in the Canada Summer Games, our own Canadian version of the Olympics.
The Canada Games take place every four years with the summer and winter events alternating at two-year intervals. The 2017 summer games will be held in Winnipeg, while in 2019 the winter games will be held in Red Deer, Alberta.
The next rotation is Ontario’s turn, and a local committee is leading a bid involving a four-city partnership between Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph to bring the 2021 summer games to our region. If the bid is successful, young athletes from every province and territory will come here for 15 days of sport and celebration.
The bid process is already well underway. The organization running the games, the Canada Games Council, sent a technical review committee here in late August to inspect our sports venues and recreation complexes for competition and practice. During its one-day tour, the committee also assessed our non-sport venues for
an athletes’ village, games pavilions, and the opening and closing ceremonies.
How did we do?
“We passed the technical review,” explained Sherry Doiron, the bid-committee manager. “The committee was really impressed by the depth of sport and non-sport venues we offer in this area.”
The 2015 Pan Am Games put a lot of communities near Toronto on the games map, but the committee was surprised when it travelled a little further down Highway 401 and discovered a strong culture of sport in this region.
If our local bid is accepted, our community will be on display for the entire country in 2021 as participants and supporters from every province and territory, along with the national media, will be focused on our part of the world. Bring on the Summer Games!
Other communities bidding for the 2021 games are Ottawa, Niagara Region and Sudbury.
Submitted by Paul Lalonde, a member of the Waterloo Region Bid Committee