Saturday, August 11, 2018

BC Summer Games ~ Vancouver Island, BC

For many of us, summertime means sunshine and travels along with lots of other wonderful things. With the BC Summer Games being held in the Cowichan Valley this year, we had a very special reason to go so decided to take the RV and visit Vancouver Island to watch our grandson compete in field lacrosse at the Summer Games.

Vancouver coastal view
The coastal views are amazing and we had blue sky and sunshine for most of our visit.  There might come a time that I feel I have taken enough photos of any given place this beautiful but I doubt it!  The next one I take could just be a bit better!  Look at all those layers!

BC Ferry 'Coastal Inspiration'
The main means of travel to the Island is by ferry.  Due to taking the RV across on the ferry during the busy summer season, we reserved a spot to avoid making a long wait at the terminal.  This has to be done a few weeks in advance in order to make sure there is room for reservations and it only cost $10 so is well worth it.

Town Crier at Opening Games
Shanel Protap, the sportscaster of BC Global News did a great job of hosting the ceremonies and kept things moving once it began.  Due to the heavy traffic for the area, certain persons were held up which caused a delay for this celebration.  This Town Crier announced the Ceremonies to begin.

The athletes have arrived
The Opening Ceremonies were held at Laketown Ranch at Youbou.  This incredible stage and set up was perfect to host the huge crowd that would be there to welcome the 3000 athletes, coaches and helpers that were here to compete in the BC Summer Games.  The excitement with these young athletes was evident as they all marched onto the grounds in front of the stage.

O Canada
These three ladies sang our national anthem and I do not believe I have ever heard it done as beautifully as this was done.  One sang in English, another in French and one in their native tongue.  It was incredible, I only wish I had been recording them.

Dancing ceremony
Next we saw a welcoming dance done by several dancers of all ages which was a powerful and exciting dance to watch.  The enthusiasm and talent they display makes one want to join in.  I love to see the costumes and especially enjoy the little ones doing their dance.  There were several dance styles done onstage including Highland as well as modern dance done by local dance groups.

Poet Shane Koyczan
Shane Koyczan is a Canadian poet and writer who recited his poem for the televised 2010 Winter Olympics and was amazing.  I was thrilled to see him perform at these BC Summer games, he is such an inspirational poet.  I felt he was definitely targeting those teenagers with words of wisdom but unfortunately, it was quite long and it seems that many of these excited teens on the verge of some very important events were not able to concentrate on what he was telling him.  As excited as I was to hear what he had to say, I, too, lost concentration about half way through.

Olympic swimmer Brent Pratap
The evening was getting long and chilly and many of the spectators had left due to the heavy traffic volume they would have to deal with leaving the Ceremony grounds.  That did not discourage Brent Hayden from telling the crowd about his struggles as a child to even learn to swim let alone expect to win an Olympic medal, but he never gave up and did exactly that.

Bronze Medal winners
After four hot days of practice and games, our grandson and his team won the Bronze Medal for Field Lacrosse.  They worked hard and made us all very proud of their sportsmanship and talents.  Congratulations to the coaches and their team!  Well done!

Visiting Saltspring Island
A short ferry ride over to Saltspring Island from our RV Park for a family dinner at Versuvius before they all headed home was a nice way to wind down our exciting week.  We’d seen all the games our grandson had played in and were ready for a relaxing week to come.  All that excitement wears us grandparents out!

The Cowichan Valley with all their organizers and volunteers did an incredible job of hosting the BC Summer Games!  The only sport we saw was the Field Lacrosse so can only speak for those facilities but the field was beautiful with artificial turf!  They did an amazing job at everything we saw.  Many kudos to them all!

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