There are just three days until the biggest multi-sport event in Orillia’s history begins. With that in mind, OrilliaMatters is publishing a daily countdown to help you get ready for the 2018 Ontario Winter Games.
Monday Feb. 26
The Ontario Games Program started in 1970 in Etobicoke as a showcase for amateur sport. It has now become Ontario’s largest multi-sport event and includes both team and individual sports.
Provincial level athletes from ages 12 to 18 qualify through a regional selection process conducted by the various provincial sport organizations. The Games take place every two years and are awarded through a bidding process; Orillia won the right to host the massive event both in 2018 and 2020.
For many young athletes, the Ontario Winter Games is the high point of their sporting career, while for others the Games are a stepping stone for the Canada Games, Pan Am Games or even the Olympics.
The Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games is supported by the Ontario government, through its Games Ontario program. This program delivers or supports multi-sport events, including the Ontario Winter and Summer Games for youth, the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games, the Ontario ParaSport Games, the 2017 North American Indigenous Games and the 2017 Invictus Games.
Supporting these provincial events is part of Game On, the Ontario government’s sports plan, which is meant to encourage as many people as possible to play organized sports, helping Ontario’s high-performance athletes pursue excellence and promoting increased tourism and economic development.
This 2018 Games in Orillia begin Thursday. Over four days of competition, more than 3,000 athletes will compete in 25 different sports at venues in Orillia, Oro-Medonte Township, Rama, Barrie, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Midland and Collingwood.