The big sports event isn’t for another four years, but the first winner has already emerged.
Cheers echoed through the halls of Hart House at University of Toronto, following words by Ontario Minister of Tourism Eleanor McMahon.
“It is with great pride that I announce that the Canada Summer Games in 2021 are going to Niagara Region,” she said Thursday afternoon, as an audience of athletes and community representatives — including a large contingent from Niagara — erupted in shouts and applause.
Despite the strength of the competition, Niagara emerged as the clear winner in its bid to host the national event.
“This is a great day for Niagara, and it’s a great day for everybody in this room, the Canada Games included,” said Regional Chair Alan Caslin following the announcement.
“I want to be the first person to welcome right now 30,000 visitors, 5,000 athletes and 400 members of the media to Niagara, and various dignitaries as well, to witness the Canada Summer Games in 2021.”
In an interview, Canada Games Council chairman Tom Quinn said members of his organization were confident any of the four communities that submitted bids for the games would have been capable of hosting the 18-day event, expected to attract more than 5,000 athletes and coaches and as many as 30,000 sports fans.
“But it became very clear — unanimously — that it was going to Niagara Region,” he added.
“Obviously all the communities had some very strong passionate support for what was going on, but Niagara, at the end of the day, everything just seemed to point in the direction that made the committee very comfortable with where we were…
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