Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole ran the final leg of the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay’s trek through the town. The 2019 Canada Games will be in Red Deer starting Feb. 15th. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

WATCH: Canada Games Torch Relay treks through Blackfalds

2019 Canada Games coming to Red Deer Feb. 15th

The MNP Canada Games Torch Relay sprinted through Blackfalds on the way to the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer starting on Feb. 15th.

The Blackfalds leg of the first cross-Canada relay in the Games’ 52-year history featured six local torchbearers including Heather Buelow, Byron Hackett, Chris Overacker, Robert Thompson, Rachel Weppler and Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole.

Buelow, owner of Dancers Edge in Lacombe and Blackfalds, said, “It was everything I hoped it would be and even more.

“We shut down the studio tonight because we really wanted to promote sports in Blackfalds and in Alberta. They said, ‘Let’s all get out and cheer on Ms. Heather’. They did and it filled my heart so much.”

Each torchbearer ran between 200 m and 1 km throughout the town and Blackfalds was one of 50 communities the torch stopped in across the county.

“The entire town is ready to turn out for the Games,” said Poole. “I can’t describe how fun, how exciting it was to come into the Abbey Centre and to go through the only indoor trail in Canada as we came around down to the lighting of the podium.”

He added downtown had Blackfalds residents on both sides cheering on the torchbearers.

“There was a lot of people looking on and cheering. We had lots of fun.”

Games Board Chair Lyn Radford said her staff is starting to panic in a good way with the Games only being 17 days away and thanked Blackfalds residents for their help with the Games bid — including a failed initial plan to host badminton at the Abbey Centre.

“We needed a gymnasium that would be able to host badminton and this was a suitable facility and the school across the way could have been used as a practice gym,” she said. “When we got into the bid and into the planning, we realized the logistics would not have worked as well for us.

“When the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre became available, we thought that was going to be a better alternative, particularly for our wheelchair accessible athletes.”

Despite the lost opportunity, Radford was grateful for the Town of Blackfalds helping Red Deer’s bid.

“We thank them for being so neighborly and gracious when we had to make the change,” she said, adding the Games committee plans to give an update Friday that will explain where everything is at.

“As the chair, I can tell you it will be a proud moment for me.”

She added the relay has been a success across the country.

“The communities are starting to realize their own heroes in their own communities and I think that was our goal across Canada,” she said.

“Today we had six of them here and that is a big thing. As we get closer, the relays are getting bigger and more boisterous, which is really what we want.”



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and area residents vent frustration over rural crime

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer visited Sylvan Lake Thursday as part of a rural crime tour

Sylvan Lake RCMP arrest man in Fox Run area hit and run

The arrest was made with the help of information provided by alert Sylvan Lakers

PHOTOS: Senior girls Aces beat the Blazers

The senior girls Eckville Aces met the Bowden Blazers in a Wednesday night game on Oct. 16

Lacombe County Council Highlights

County Council met for its regular meeting of council on Oct. 10

Pilot project proposed for Sylvan Lake and Rimbey RCMP

Chief Superintendent Shahin Mehdizadeh spoke about the project at Tuesday’s meeting of council

VIDEO: Alberta teen found guilty of shooting German tourist, leaving him paralyzed

The boy, who cannot be publicly identified, was from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

PODCAST: Journalism instructor discusses how reporters have taken on climate change

Mount Royal University’s Sean Holman has been researching how journalists have covered climate change

Most Read