Help bring the 2021 Canada Games to Ottawa
Ottawa is one of four cities competing to host the Canada Games in 2021. To win the bid, local sports fans across the city need will to show their support, and soon.
For fans who enjoy watching the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, the Canada Games are a chance to see almost 5,000 athletes from around the country competing in 20 individual and team sports.
The Games are both exciting and important, because they serve as a launching point for Canada’s best young athletes onto the world stage.
Need proof? At last year’s Olympic Games in Rio, 64 per cent of Team Canada medalists were Canada Games alumni.
Over the years, names like Hayley Wickenheiser, Charles Hamelin and Andre de Grasse have all made their mark at the Games on their way to international success.
The Games can be a life-changing experience, according to bid committee co-chair and Olympic Medalist Sue Holloway. Holloway competed in the 1971 Games and she says it was the tipping point in her career as an athlete.
“It was when I decided I wanted to be an athlete and really realized what I could do,” she says.
Holloway would go on to become the first woman and first Canadian to compete in the Summer and Winter Games in the same year, competing in the 1976 Winter Olympics in cross-country skiing and 1976 Summer Olympics in the canoe sprint event.
She later took home a bronze and a silver medal in the canoe sprint at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Traditionally the Canada Games are held in smaller towns, and Ottawa would be the biggest since Quebec City hosted the inaugural games in 1967.
But Holloway says the size of Ottawa won’t be a factor.
“We’re like a small town in a big city,” she says. “And we know that Ottawans would come out and support the Games in droves.”
As for the benefits of hosting, they go well beyond just getting to watch Canada’s best compete in our own backyard.
It’s estimated that the games will bring over 20,000 visitors to the national capital and generate over $150 million in economic activity for the region.
What’s more is that the games will bring money for upgrading athletics facilities and venues around the city that many will in the future.
“There’s going to a be a legacy for many people, not just athletes,” Holloway says.
It all adds up to a rare opportunity to cheer on the next generation of Canada’s elite athletes and to boost Ottawa’s sports facilities in the process.
To help bring the Games to Ottawa, add your signature at Ottawa2021.ca.
Then stay tuned on Twitter (@Ottawa2021) for future updates about how you can show your support.