VIDEO – Games Countdown is Officially Underway With Torch Relay

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Things felt very wintery yesterday (August 24) in Airdrie.  

Wait just a minute, you say?  Wasn’t it sunny and 20 to 23 degrees most of the day?  It certainly was, but the winter feelings were happening at East Lake Regional Park with the ATCO Torch Relay, the first official event leading up to the Airdrie 2020 Alberta Winter Games set for February 14th to 17th.

Mayor Peter Brown lit the torch and got things underway by running the first leg of the relay along with councillor Tina Petrow.  Brown then handed the torch to Airdrie East MLA Angela Pitt who ran with it before passing it to some of the many Airdrie residents who turned out at yesterday’s event so they could experience the thrill of running with the torch.

Chair of the Board for the 2020 Winter Games in Airdrie Shauna Quinn was pleased with the turnout of Airdrie residents.  “Absolutely,: she says.  “I mean we put a lot of effort in to create a great event for Airdrie that we haven’t done before with the 5K and 10K (races) and a family opportunity to run the torch.  We’re glad to see so many families coming out and that’s what it’s all about is supporting the games as a community and trying new things and supporting our athletic community.”

Generally, the torch run is held immediately before the games.  So is Quinn worried about keeping up the momentum and holding people’s interest in the games over the next six months?  Not one bit.  “We’ve had a deliberate roll-out plan for our marketing, pageantry, and promotion of the games.  We really wanted to focus on events for fundraisers that would engage the community in a sports manner so we have two more great events coming up in the next couple of weeks.”

The first event is Airdrie Day With the Stamps for the September 14th game between the Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats at 2:00 pm at McMahon Stadium.  $5.00 from every ticket purchased through the link on the Stampeders ticket site comes back to the Games Committee.  The next day, on September 15th, the committee will host Airdrie’s first All Things Sports Show and Sale in the Plainsmen Arena. 

According to Quinn, following those two events, the games will begin to move into marketing and pageantry.  “So you’ll start to see the signs go up, the banners, flags, and a little bit more of a social presence.  We don’t want to scare people with winter games until we start to see some snowflakes but we also want to remind people we’re here, we’re coming and we truly need them to step up and either attend the events or volunteer with us or even sponsor us.  We’re still looking for that too.”

This will be the second time Airdrie has hosted an Alberta games.  The first was a summer games in 2014 which were very successful, leaving a legacy in the city.  Athletes in the 2020 winter games will compete in 23 different sports and range in age from 11 to 17.  

 

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