Another sporting event has become a casualty of COVID-19, this time the B.C. Winter Games.
The multi-sport competition was scheduled for next month in Vernon. Games organizers and stakeholders will explore the options to see if can proceed in 2023. The ongoing pandemic, coupled with external factors such as wildfires and floods in many part of the province in the past year, have made it impossible to stage a safe and memorable Games this winter.
“I recognize how devastating this news is for the athletes, coaches, volunteers, and host region of Greater Vernon who have been working tirelessly to prepare for these Games,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These are not easy decisions to make. I sincerely hope that the dreams of these athletes to compete at this stage can be safely realized in the near future.”
The 2022 BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon were expecting 1,800 athletes, coaches, and officials from communities across the province, with as many as 2,000 volunteers.
“It is very unfortunate for athletes, coaches, families, and spectators from across the province who will not have a BC Games experience this winter,” said Alison Noble, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “We look forward to the possibility of delivering these Games in the future.”
The pandemic also led to the cancellation of the 2020 B.C. Summer Games that were slated for Maple Ridge. The city has since been awarded the 2024 Summer Games.
The B.C. Games are held every two years. Prince George will host the 2022 BC Summer Games and the 2024 B.C. Winter Games will be in Quesnel. Additional information about a future version of the 2022 B.C. Winter Games will be shared when available.
The B.C. Games bring valuable competitive opportunities for British Columbia’s best young athletes and developing coaches and officials, help volunteers gain skills and experiences, and attract local tourism and direct economic benefits to the host community.