Games opening 'spectacular'

David Newell
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Event sets tone for outstanding competition

The word heard most often on Saturday night in Grand Falls-Windsor was "Wow!"
Nearly 680 athletes paraded into Windsor Stadium for the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games as strobe lights flashed and music rocked the rafters of the newly-renovated facility.
Those athletes, who would participate in the first half of the week-long event were joined by parents, guests and organizers in the audience.
Games Executive Director Brian Casey said the event was top notch.
"We were exceptionally pleased," he said. "The feedback I got when the ceremonies were over from a lot of the guests and athletes was all positive. Overall everything went well. It was smooth and professional and the crowd was very enthused."
The night started early, with pre-show entertainment that included music from the Exploits Valley Jazz Band and Chorale, local rock group Super Magic Stomp and a martial arts demonstration.
Master of Ceremonies Zach Goudie, a native of Grand Falls-Windsor, welcomed the dignitaries to the stage, who included Provincial Minister of Tourism and Recreation Terry French; Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and MHA for Grand Falls-Windsor - Buchans, Susan Sullivan; and MHA for Grand Falls-Windsor - Green Bay South, Ray Hunter.
One of the highlights of the night was the reading of oaths by those involved in the games.
While athletes' and coaches' oaths are common at events such as this one, a special spectators' oath was recited, urging fans to be fair in their cheering.
Ceremonies event chair Maxine Stanley was thrilled at the result of her committee's hard work.
"I was thoroughly pleased with the efficiency of getting the athletes in and how we kept within the time we had - that was a big thing for us," she said. "I am pleased with all of the entertainment. We did a spectators oath for the first time. I am really thankful for the committee we have. We have worked tirelessly night after night."
Her committee's work is not done yet, as the closing ceremonies, which will involve athletes taking part in the second half of the games, will take place on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Windsor Stadium.
Dave Anthony, who together with his wife Melinda are the directors of the ceremonies, said it was the reaction of the athletes that made the opening a success for him.
"It came together really well," he said. "The way we measured our satisfaction was the fact that so many of the kids were entertained by it. It was "great" and "awesome," they said - that made it all worthwhile."

Organizations: Exploits Valley Jazz Band

Geographic location: Windsor Stadium, Newfoundland and Labrador, Green Bay South

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