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HomeNewsLhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games OFFICIALLY underway

Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games OFFICIALLY underway

A packed West Fraser Centre in Quesnel hosted the opening ceremonies of the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games last (Thursday) night.

There was a lot of singing and dancing.

The InSong Quesnel Youth Choir started off the night with “O Canada.”

13-year old Ethan Smith delivered a couple of impressive songs as well, and the equally impressive dancing came from the Lhtako Dene and Nazko jingle dress dancers and Gold Pan City Dance.

(Photo provided by Karen Powell)
These games are the first ever to be co-hosted by a municipality and an Indigenous community, and Lhtako Dene First Nation Chief Clifford Lebrun welcomed everyone.

“It is a great pleasure and an honour to welcome everyone to the traditional lands of the Lhtako Dene Nation. The stars of the show are the athletes, something they’ll remember all their lives, and we’re pretty proud to be part of that.”

Quesnel Mayor Ron Paull and CRD Chair Margo Wagner also welcomed the more than 12 hundred athletes to the games.

Brian Balkwill, President of the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Games Society, also had a message to the athletes.

“Why do we compete in sports ? It’s not just about winning medals or setting records. Sports teaches life lessons like resilience, teamwork, discipline, and the joy of pushing our limits. Remember the real gold medals are the friends we make along the way.”

Balkwill also thanked the 1,270 volunteers that made these games possible.

Kassia Kitamura, representing Quesnel in artistic gymnastics, delivered the athlete’s oath.

“On behalf of all of the athletes I pledge to compete in the spirit in which the games were founded, a celebration of competition, honour, and friendship. I pledge to be the best I can be, to rise to the challenges I meet here and when I return home. I pledge to push beyond what is expected of me and extend my limits in sport, academics, and community, And I pledge to rise to the challenges I face and share with my competitors, my victories and my friendship.”

Lhtako drummers and singers led the torch bearers (Friday Borsato-Stobbe, Nikolai Benson, Kayden D’Entremont, Shiloh Bright, Abbey Mackay) into the arena and the night ended with the torch once again being lit.

with files from George Henderson, My Cariboo Now staff

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