Scott Robinson, CEO of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, examines a time chart. (File photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Chefs de mission arrive to check Winter Games progress

Visitors will check on venues, accommodations and food services and transportation plans

2019 Canada Winter Games organizers are ready to impress.

Around 50 chefs de mission and assistants from Canada’s 13 provinces and territories are arriving in Red Deer Tuesday and will spend the next couple of days checking out how preparations are going.

Their tour started Tuesday morning in Kananaskis and Nikisku, where skiing events will be held, before heading to Calgary Olympic Park, where the half-pipe is located for freestyle skiing and snowboarding and Sport Centre, where synchronized swimming is being held.

“The mission staff are coming here to learn about what we have planned,” said Games CEO Scott Robinson Tuesday.

“Many of them have been to Games before — in some cases many times — so they have a really good understanding of what makes for good Games.”

Robinson said the group will visit the venues and look at accommodation, food services and transportation plans to provide feedback to local organizers.

“Coming out of this we’ll have a good sense of how close we are in terms of our direction and whether there are any adjustments we need to make.”

So will the visitors be impressed?

“I certainly hope so,” said Robinson with a chuckle. “I do know that our team has put in a tremendous amount of work into the stuff that will be presented to the mission this week.

“(Chefs de mission teams) love detail because it gives them a clearer sense of what the directions are and the different aspects we’ve been working on.

“We feel we’re very prepared in terms of what we’re delivering to them and I think we are going to receive some positive feedback.”

Robinson expects there will be lots of questions asked. Anything Games organizers cannot answer on the spot will be followed up on.

At this stage, Games organizers are well advanced in plans and all major issues have been addressed.

I think for the most part we feel confident that there are no big things we missed,” he said. “There are still few things we can’t answer yet because this is still a work in progress.”

The Games run Feb. 15 to March 3 and will feature more than 150 events in 19 sports and will include a major arts and culture festival. About 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and 100,000 spectators are expected.

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