The Lhtako Quesnel BC Winter Games are down three sports.
BC Alpine Ski, Freestyle BC, and BC Snowboard have withdrawn from the Games due to a lack of a snowpack on the mountain at Troll Ski Resort and the absence of heavy snowfall in the forecast.
The groups say the decision was made after extensive consultation with coaches and the BC Games Society.
Biathlon BC and Cross Country BC will attend the Games as both are exploring modified scenarios for on-snow competition or dryland events
The President of the Lhtako Quesnel BC Games Society says he is obviously disappointed that they have lost three of their sporting events, but Brian Balkwill says he understands why the decision was made and says it was the right decision.
“These athletes, in alpine skiing and freestyle and snowboarding, they have a short season as it is and even shorter this year of course because of the conditions around the province. They have to make plans too, and we’re all about trying to make a great games experience for everybody, but also they’re here to compete and if they’re not able to do that, the provincial sport organizers had to make a decision, so we stand by that decision.”
Balkwill says they’re pretty excited that they’ve got 13 sports and more than 12-hundred athletes that they’re focusing on now.
He says he’s not anticipating any more bumps in the road.
“I think we’re in great shape. We’ve got about 13-hundred and 50 volunteers overall. That’s what makes it special for this community and all the sports are engaged. We’re ordering food as we speak here for all the athletes, the venues are getting ready, so bring it on.”
Balkwill says there may be a silver lining to the loss of these sports.
“There is about 90 volunteers that were associated with those sports up at Troll. We’re holding our volunteer accreditation meeting this Saturday at Quesnel Junior Secondary, and we hope to try to redirect some of those volunteers to come of the vacancies we have in other areas.”
Balkwill calls it a great opportunity for those volunteers to stay involved.
The Games run from February 22-25.