Over 360 athletes from 20 Labrador communities filled the arena floor in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, which prompted wild cheers and noise as the crowd cheered them on all as they were introduced.
“It’s truly an inspiring event,” noted Premier Dwight Ball, who attended the opening ceremonies, along with all four Labrador MHA’s, MP Yvonne Jones, Mayor Wally Andersen and council and many more special guests.
“I have great admiration for the athletes here this evening…it’s about community pride and the communities you call home.”
The LWG Children’s choir, along with Laura Taylor; the Army Cadets, Silver Wolf Band and Richard Neville all provided entertainment throughout the evening.
“We are so happy to see you here, keeping the Games alive….our hats are off to all of you,” Ball said.
Premier Ball also gave a special posthumous dedication to Boyce Bessey – a long-time volunteer of the LWG who passed away almost three years ago - and presented a plaque and bouquet of flowers to his wife, Louise.
“He could be counted on when something had to be done…without complaint or need for recognition,” said Ball. “Everyone has fond memories of Boyce’s commitment to the Labrador Winter Games.”
LWG Board Chair Ernie McLean also presented special plaques to LWG Builder Joe Goudie – who came up with the initial idea and funding for the first ever LWG in 1983; as well as Sterling Peyton of HV-GB and Aubrey Russell of Mary’s Harbour, who were named as Games Patrons.
The official Games torch was lit by the youngest and oldest athletes in the 2019 Games - Jesse Ford of Makkovik and Cynthia Hancock of Forteau, respectively.
“It gives me great pleasure to declare the 2019 Labrador Winter Games officially open!” said Ball.