A new Canada Games Centre has been built in the city of Corner
Brook to host many of the games. It has two ice surfaces, with
a total seating capacity of 3500, and a gymnasium area. Downhill
skiing will be held at Marble Mountain in nearby Steady Brook
and cross-country events will take place in Corner Brook's newly
renovated ski park. Other sports venues have been located in
local schools and colleges in the area.
McCormack reports that one school--Herdman Collegiate--will
serve as a lounge area where athletes and their coaches and managers
can relax between events. This entertainment centre will offer
a variety of table and video games as well as a big-screen television
that follow the game competitions. A computer room at the school
will give athletes e-mail access and Internet access.
With over 6000 people signed on as volunteers, local residents
are involved in everything, ranging from handling V.I.P. passes
to providing bilingual announcements at game competitions. "People
are involved in a lot of different ways," McCormack says.
"I think I will be working about 20 hours in the two weeks
that the games are held. Everyone is excited, and nervous too,
because it's very important."
Local schools will be shut down during the two-week period
of the games to provide students the opportunity to work at various
venues and assignments, and of course to give them a chance to
see many of the games.
The present atmosphere in Corner Brook is one of excitement
and anticipation of the days to come. The games will begin with
the dramatic entry of the athletes for the Opening Ceremonies.
According to McCormack, the Opening Ceremonies will feature regional
entertainment and Newfoundland music.
"The ceremonies are going to be great," she says.
"I can't wait! I think my family has tickets. They are really
hard to get!"
With the excitement rising and the promotion of Newfoundland
and Labrador heritage in the air, Corner Brook has been transformed
into an athlete's dream land. People in the Corner Brook area
have worked hard to bring the Canada Games alive and to cater
to the needs of the athletes and spectators.
For many Canadian athletes, the dream will begin with the
Opening Ceremonies and continue through two weeks of hard competition,
victory and defeat, pleasure and pain. And, through it all, one
thing will remain: the sense of unity that the games bring to
all of Canada.