Canada Summer Games Wrap Up in Niagara
The Niagara 2022 Canada Games have come to a close, and local businesses are reflecting on the events.
The Games ran from Aug. 6 to 21, and brought young athletes from across the country came to the region to compete in various sports, from swimming to cycling, to volleyball, and more.
The closing ceremonies kicked off with a parade of athletes, led by Team Alberta, which won the Centennial Cup ahead of the night’s festivities, given to the provincial or territorial team that saw the greatest improvement over the last Summer Games.
As each team walked into the park, athletes carried ‘Thank you, Niagara’ signs, filled with signatures and notes. Twenty-year-old Sarah Nagy from Aurora was Team Ontario’s flag bearer, having won four gold medals in four canoe/kayak events.
For Niagara, the road to the Games began in 2017 when the region won the bid to host the 2021 Games. This year’s event is only the third time in 55 years (and first time in 21 years) it has been held in Ontario.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Games were delayed by a year, but for organizers it was well worth the wait.
“We’ve had a tremendous two weeks,” said Doug Hamilton, chair of the Niagara 2022 Host Society, prior to the closing ceremonies.
“Everything we hoped would happen has happened. Athletes had great experiences, our facilities were excellent, our volunteers did a tremendous job of putting the best possible face on these Games that we could put on them.”
When Olympic gold medallist Adam Van Koeverden took the stage, the athletes gathered in the park listened as he spoke about his own connection to the Games, and the impact it had on his future.
“Back in 1997, (Canada Games in Brandon, Man.) started my sports career and I ended up going to four Olympic Games and competing for Canada. I can’t wait to hear about your stories as you go on to do great things in your sports,” Van Koeverden told the crowd.