Airdrie’s population will increase by more than 2,300 people during the Family Day long weekend as the city plays host to the 2020 Alberta Winter Games.
The opening ceremonies of the games took place at Airdrie City Hall on Feb 14. During the next three days, 1,700 athletes from across Alberta will compete in 19 sports, cheered on by hundreds of coaches, parents, officials and volunteers.
“With the arrival of the 2020 Alberta Winter Games, Albertans are going to experience some exciting winter sports action,” said Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.
“The young Albertans competing this weekend represent the best our province has to offer in their individual sports. I admire the skill and determination of these future leaders – and potential Olympic competitors – have demonstrated to represent their respective zone. I wish them all the best of luck.”
Athletes compete in a wide variety of sports at the Alberta Winter Games, including ringette, speed skating, figure skating, curling, futsal, wrestling and judo. Participants qualify to attend the games through zone playoffs held throughout the province.
“Bringing the Alberta Winter Games to Airdrie is an incredible opportunity for residents and visitors to come together and celebrate the province’s exceptional athletes,” said Peter Brown, mayor, City of Airdrie.
“We are excited to welcome these young athletes, coaches and their families to Airdrie and showcase our passion for sport and culture that we pride ourselves on.”
The event is coordinated by the Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women in partnership with the Airdrie 2020 Alberta Winter Games Society.
The Alberta government provides $420,000 to support the 2020 Alberta Winter Games, including $70,000 designated for cultural activities. The event is expected to generate about $3 million in economic impact in Airdrie and area.
More than 40 athletes who have participated in the Alberta Winter Games have gone on to represent Canada at the Olympics, including:
- Two-time Olympic gold medal hockey player Meaghan Mikkelson
- Alpine skier Erik Read
- Speed skater Brianne Tutt
- Olympic bronze medal skeleton athlete Melissa Hollingsworth
- Curler Joanne Courtney