Pat Lechelt, chef de mission for Alberta, was in Red Deer this week to check on progress for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Photo by Susan Zielinski/Advocate staff)

Preparations for Winter Games in good shape

Chef de missions for each province and territory wrap up conference in Red Deer

Red Deer has made a good impression on officials checking on preparations for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

This week a chef de mission representing each province and territory, and their assistants, were in Red Deer to check out venues and attended their first mission conference in the city.

Each chef de mission co-ordinates their provincial or territorial Canada Games team. Their responsibilities go beyond the sport competitions to the overall organization of the games and logistical planning for transportation, food services and athlete services.

Pat Lechelt, Team Alberta chef de mission, said Red Deer is ready.

“They’re in very, very good shape and I think all Albertans will be proud of the job that their going to do,” Lechelt said on Friday.

“We’ll come one more time. We’ll come in October so we’ll see how things have progressed.”

The spirit of the Canada Games has already spread throughout Red Deer, she said.

“People in the community are excited. You can go anywhere in this community and they know the games are coming. That is amazing and very refreshing.”

Yesterday officials were at Red Deer College to see where athletes will stay during the games.

“We got to check out all the rooms and I think our athletes are going to be very, very happy. We got to have a taste of the food they’re going to be experiencing.”

They also saw the Gary W. Harris Canada Winter Games Centre that is under construction at RDC.

“It’s a beautiful facility and I think it’s going to be really good for our athletes.”

Lechelt said chef de mission are also working with their provincial sport associations to help them prepare their teams for the games, but the selection of athletes is up to those associations.

“Our hockey teams are very close to having their teams chosen. The final selection is coming up shortly.”

Sports associations in Alberta have until Jan. 4 to make their team selection.

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