A group of Team Ontario athletes leave the new students residence at Red Deer College, which has been transformed into an Athletes Village. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff

Making mid-Games athletes switchover a big job

Hundreds of new athletes arrive only hours after others leave

It was an operation requiring almost military-like planning.

On Saturday, 2019 Canada Winter Games team leaders had to organize the departure of hundreds of athletes from their temporary homes to make way for a new cohort.

“It’s a massive undertaking,” said Team Alberta’s Guy Napert-Frenette.

Athletes and coaches had to be out of their rooms by 7 a.m. so the rooms could be inspected and cleaned.

Around 150 Team Alberta Athletes were here for the first week and about 100 have arrived for week two.

Outside, buses were ready — two bound for Calgary and one for Edmonton — to get the athletes on their way home.

“Then we go back to their rooms and make sure their rooms are cleaned up for the next wave of athletes,” said Napert-Frenette.

“It’s a big undertaking for the college to do all of the room cleanups. The more time they have the merrier before the next group comes.

“You’ve got to do all of these rooms in four or five hours.”

In all, Athletes Village at Red Deer College will host and house 3,600 athletes. Some will be staying in a 145-suite residence completed just before the Games and others are spread throughout other college residences.

There are plenty of details to take care of, such as organizing door keys and a myriad of other logistical tasks.

“It’s a very busy day for mission staff.”

Teams leave at different times, depending on when their flights home are scheduled.

Napert-Frenette said accommodation reviews have been good from the athletes.

“It was fantastic. We haven’t heard a single complaint on accommodation.

“I think athletes really enjoyed the Games here.”


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