Team Alberta athletes were among the first to arrive at the 2019 Canada Winter Games on Thursday. (Photo supplied by Team Alberta)

Team Alberta lands in Red Deer for 2019 Canada Winter Games

Hundreds of athletes from across the province arrived Thursday morning ahead of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Team Alberta, made up of 250 athletes and supported by 73 coaches and managers, along with 19 mission staff, were the first group to set foot in the Athlete’s Village at Red Deer College.

Thursday was also the first day most of the competitors got to sport their Team Alberta gear. They went through an orientation put on by the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society before settling into the village.

“Our athletes were so excited. I think this has been a long time coming and we’ve tried to prepare them for this, but it’s actually here, it’s awesome,” said Team Alberta chef de mission Pat Lechelt.

“Team Alberta is ready and we’re all so very proud to be in our home province. That only happens every 24 or 25 years. Everyone is super excited and they know that they have not only Team Alberta behind them and cheering them on, but all of Alberta and especially Red Deer.”

More than 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches from across the country arrived throughout the day Thursday and the rest are expected to land Friday before the opening ceremonies.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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