Harper officially opens 2013 Summer Games

Robin
Robin Short
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By Robin Short

Telegram Sports Editor—Sherbrooke, Que.

To a roaring applause of some 5,000 or so gathered at the University of Sherbrooke’s football stadium, not to mention 2,100 young athletes eager to get going for medals, Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially opened the 2013 Canada Summer Games Friday night.

About 4,200 athletes from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia will be in Sherbrooke, about an hour east of Montreal, over the next two weeks competing in 20 different sports.

Flag bearer Owen Daly of swimming led the Newfoundland contingent into the stadium followed by first-week athletes in baseball, softball, women’s soccer, wrestling, tennis,  mountain biking, sailing, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s volleyball.

Week 2 sports on the agenda are athletics, rowing, canoe/kayaking, cycling, women’s basketball, golf, diving, men’s soccer, triathlon and beach volleyball.

“The first Canada Games in 1967 were in Quebec, and it was about unity through sport,” Harper said.

“After four and a half decades, sport still unites us as Canadians.”

A number of well-known athletes, among them Bruny Surin, Jennifer Heil, Sylvie Bernier and Annie Pelletier, along with singer Johnny Reid, who attended Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, helped carry the Canada Games flag in to the stadium.

While they all received a nice ovation from the crowd, the biggest applause went to Colette Roy-Laroche, the mayor of nearby Lac-Magantic, site of the explosive train derailment that killed 47 people earlier this month.

Competion gets under way Saturday with Newfoundland playing P.E.I. in baseball, Manitoba and Nova Scotia in softball, Nova Scotia and Manitoba in women’s volleyball, Saskatchewan in men’s volleyball, tennis, sailing and mountain biking.

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: University in Sherbrooke, Canada Games

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Sherbrooke, Canada British Columbia Montreal Manitoba Nova Scotia Quebec Saskatchewan

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  • Rob
    August 05, 2013 - 07:15

    I drove my family to Sherbrooke yesterday to see a great basketball match. Quebec vs Saskatchewan. You should have seen the pride in the athletes' eyes. These young men looked like NBA players. It was awsome. The feeling of watching them play in an arena. Announcer, mascot, lights, fans, Provincial flags, Canadian flag. Every young player was introduced, lined up, faced their flag...Canadian flag!! I stood up and then I heard " Lets start the game" !!!/????? Both Quebec and Saskatchewan teams were a little confused. I am sorry this is the Canada games. Where the games take place has no relevancy. Lets have some respect for our young players who may one day represent our wonderful country. This is not a political event nor is the the Quebec games. Lets wake up. I was totally ill after this. I was shocked and confused. I will mention this to the organizer. If Quebec can not take a moment to pay homage to their country during the Canada games they should not bid to have the games take place in their community. The organizers need to ban Quebec if this is to happen again. Quebec has participated in the Canada games from the onset in 1967. The Canadian Anthem has been played and will continue to play. I am not aware if during the opening games the anthem was played or not...but please do not degrade ourselves. The rest of the world is watching. I was truly embarrassed. I am sorry. A proud Quebecer and Canadian. Rob