40th Anniversary Labrador Winter Games begin
The 2023 Labrador Winter Games opened with multiple performers and emotional moments.
A week full of modern and traditional events begins.
The games began in 1983 and run every three years. It was supposed to take place in 2022 but was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Masters of Ceremonies Jack Penashue and Anna Goudie dedicated the 2023 Games to frontline workers during the pandemic and the late Dennis Drover.
Drover was an athlete in 2003 before taking on the coordinator job for Team Labrador City until 2019. He died in May.
Drover would advise more than his own team, said Greg Peddle, Labrador City’s community coordinator.
“Those who met him certainly haven’t forgotten him,” Peddle said. “He certainly made a lasting impression, not just at the Games but on the wonderful people of Labrador.”
The ceremonies also included a performance by the Lake Melville School Drummers Heartbeat group, the Labrador Winter Games Choir, made up of students from schools in the Lake Melville area, a hoop dance performance by Terrance Littletent, a performance at which all athletes danced by the Andrew Penashue Band and fire dancers.
There are an estimated 500 athletes from each of Labrador’s communities, 600 volunteers and thousands of spectators. Competitions begin Monday morning at 8:30 AM AT with table tennis, target shooting and snowshoe racing.
Standing ovation for Labrador MP in fight against cancer
The night included a standing ovation for Labrador’s MP Yvonne Jones. Jones resigned from her political role in November after being diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.
“It’s such an amazing feeling not only to be home, but to be in this room tonight, to be surrounded by amazing people – people who are filled with determination and strength, and people who are up for the challenge of Olympics of the North,” Jones told the crowd.
“Let me just tell you, you are remarkable. Give it your all and be proud.”
Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation Chief Eugene Hart addressed the crowd and thanked Jones for coming to the opening ceremonies.
Hart had a bouquet of flowers to thank Jones for attending and the arena gave Jones a standing ovation.
“She’s a fighter. She’s a fighter in a lot of ways, so I’m really glad she’s here tonight,” Hart said.
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