Young athletes from all over Alberta are making their way to Okotoks and Diamond Valley this weekend for the 2023 Alberta Summer Games.

A torch relay started yesterday to build anticipation for the 2023 Alberta Summer Games. The game’s opening ceremony will take place Thursday, July 20 at 7 p.m. at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks Alberta where a sold-out crowd will gather to celebrate the tremendous young athletes who will be competing all weekend long.

Thousands of athletes’ province-wide, ages 11-17, will be participating in 14 different sports at select locations in Okotoks and Diamond Valley.

Britney Pole, Co-director of the Promotions Committee and Chair of Social Media for the Alberta Summer Games, says she’s excited for everyone to see what the young athletes can do.

“It’s really cool to see all these young athletes coming out to compete and getting the feel of what their future could be if they were in the Olympics,” says Pole adding, “They’ve basically trained their whole lives for these events — it’s just a really cool atmosphere, community spirit. I’m excited for them.”

The Alberta Summer Games program has a track record of catapulting young athletes on their journey to representing Canada on the national level.

Kyra Christmas, Allison Beveridge, Sage Watson, Morgan Bird, Stefan Daniel have all gone on to represent Canada on the Olympic stage with Beveridge capturing bronze in the women’s cycling team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Where Daniel claimed the silver at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in the Men’s Paratriathlon PT4, and bronze at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in the Men’s Paratriathlon PTS5 category.

The Alberta Summer Games has a lot of hype in the lead-up in the years it takes place but this year’s games are poised to be different from all the others.

“Summer Games happen every two years, and this one is a little bit more exciting because this one is the first one post-COVID,” says Pole.

The games offer a bit of everything for sports enthusiasts with events ranging from beach volleyball to baseball to swimming.

Pole mentioned the mountain bike event which takes place behind the Oilfields Curling Club in Black Diamond and the canoe/kayak competitions for the Crystal Shores – Canoe Polo Sheep River – Slalom in Okotoks as a must-watch event.

Pole also made sure to give the 1400-plus volunteers a big shoutout for all their tireless work this last year in the lead-up to this year’s games as it would be impossible to put on without them.

Information on event times, venues, full sporting categories and more can be found here.

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