WHITEHORSE – Yukon is proud to support the first ever Paralympic Winter Games held in Canada, opening today in Vancouver.
“While we cheer on Canadian athletes, we are pleased to share the pride of Yukon as a great place to live, invest and visit with those attending the Games,” Premier Dennis Fentie said. “Following on Canada’s great showing at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the energy and enthusiasm for the Paralympics will carry forward to all Canadians as we continue to embrace the Olympic spirit.”
Yukon’s participation encompasses Rick Goodfellow who represented Yukon as a torchbearer at the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay Lighting Ceremony on March 3 in Ottawa. Goodfellow is the executive director of the non-profit organization Challenge Community Vocational Alternatives that provides employment support and training to people with disabilities in Yukon.
Yukon’s involvement further includes local musicians performing at the opening ceremonies; two Youth Ambassadors, five Arctic Sport and Dene Games athletes, two coaches and one sport official at the Games. The Youth Ambassadors are volunteering with VANOC and helping at curling and hockey venues. Arctic Sport and Dene Games athletes and coaches are demonstrating at Canada’s Northern House and providing sport camps in West Vancouver. The sport official will officiate in Whistler.
Throughout the Games, art work from the Yukon Permanent Art Collection and northern dolls from the Sewing our Traditions: Dolls of Canada’s North will be on display at Canada’s Northern House at 602 West Hastings. Three tourism business events will highlight Yukon through multimedia presentations, tourism operator involvement and Yukon entertainment.
Glenn Hart, minister responsible for Health and Social Services and the French Language Services Directorate will attend the opening ceremony on behalf of the Government of Yukon.
The closing ceremony takes place March 21 at Celebration Plaza in Whistler, BC.