Penticton Will Host the 2016 B.C. Winter Games
The 2016 B.C. Winter Games will be hosted by Penticton.
The announcement was made by Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett, who says that Penticton is an ideal community to be hosting a major sporting event.
"Penticton is obviously a perfect place to hold either the BC Summer or Winter Games," said Bennett at a press conference on Friday. "The local sport community is very active and accessible and I know that you're all going to embrace the opportunity that this brings to Penticton."
Penticton was the very first host of the B.C. Summer Games in 1978. The city also hosted the 1990 B.C. Winter Games and the 1995 B.C. Winter Games. The B.C. Summer and Winter Games are the provinces premier multi-sport events and have produced many Olympic athletes over the years. Bennett also emphasized that the B.C. Winter Games will have a huge economic impact on the community.
"We're estimating that Penticton will see roughly $2 million of economic impact from holding the games here. You're going to be hosting thousands of visitors, athletes, coaches, officials, family members, fans and media. That gives you an opportunity to show the rest of the province what Penticton is all about."
Canadian Olympic Skier and Summerland native Kristi Richards encouraged everyone in the community to get involved with the games and enjoy the experience while they're here.
"Sport, I think, really is a platform and it shows us all these great values that we all aspire to do and have and hold within us," said Richards, who considers Apex Mountain Resort to be her home mountain. "Whether it's sport, art, work or anything, we're all out there striving to be our best and sport really showcases that and we can connect with that easily. So I encourage you to take those feelings with you as we build the B.C. Winter Games here in 2016."
There will be over 2,100 athletes, coaches and officials participating in the games, which will take place February 25-28, 2016.
Adam Graham - Penticton