Team Alberta lead says 'Red Deer is Ready' for 2019 Games

By Troy Gillard (Twitter: @Troy_Gillard)
February 16, 2018 - 3:13pm Updated: February 18, 2018 - 8:29pm

With less than a year left until the start of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, some of the most important work leading up to the big event is underway.

Games officials have spent the last two days in Red Deer checking out venues, receiving operational updates and joining in “One Year Out” celebrations.  

From what they’ve seen, Red Deer is more than ready to welcome the country in a year’s time.

“They’re in very, very good shape and I think all Albertans will be proud of the job they’re going to do,” Pat Lechelt, Chef de Mission for Team Alberta said Friday morning. “Red Deer is ready. It is so nice to see people in the community are excited. You can go anywhere in this community and they know the Games are coming. That is amazing and very refreshing.”

Joined by a team of staff and volunteers, a Chef de Mission oversees all aspects of preparing a provincial or territorial team for the Games. Their responsibilities go well beyond sport competitions to the overall organization of the games and logistical planning for transportation, food services and athlete services.

“It is quite an honour to be part of that whole process, and it’s extra special because it’s being hosted in our province,” Lechelt said.

All chefs de mission got a first-hand look this week at Red Deer College, which will serve as the Athlete’s Village during the 2019 Games.

“We got to check out all the rooms, and I think our athletes are going to be very, very happy,” she noted. “We got to have a taste of the food that the athletes will be experiencing. It’s a beautiful facility and I think it’s going to be really good for our athletes.”

Lechelt says a lot of work is underway with Alberta’s provincial sport associations to get athletes ready for the upcoming “Home Games” both physically and mentally when it comes to preparing for competition and dealing with increased media demands.

Sport organizations have until January 4, 2018 to submit their final rosters for Team Alberta the Games. 

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