After three full days of running, jumping, throwing, grappling and competing in every other fashion imaginable, BC Summer Games athletes sat down at Rotary Stadium to close out the games and take their turn cheering and clapping.
The closing ceremonies were held under a blazing Sunday afternoon sun with competitors, supporters, officials and volunteers all in attendance.
After Casa Diva opened the ceremonies by singing O Canada, a few short speeches from dignitaries thanked the participants.
A variety of song and dance routines kept the crowd clapping and cheering throughout.
Mayor Henry Braun expressed pride in seeing the games in his community.
“These past few days have been filled with excitement, excellent competition, exceptional abilities on the track, in the gym, and in the water,” he said, addressing the large crowd.
“We’ve seen encouragement, fair play and respect for opponents. Friendships have developed and we’ve shared emotional moments.”
Braun shared an emotional moment of his own.
He told the crowd only a few hours previous he found himself awarding gold medals to Fraser Valley’s boys volleyball team. What made it emotional was one of the players was his own grandson.
“It brought a tear to my eye, I actually choked up,” he said in an interview The News after his speech.
“I’m still a little emotional about it… I knew they were a good team but I wasn’t sure where they would go. When I put that gold around [his neck] — I’ll cherish that for as long as I live.”
Sada Virsa Sada Gaurav Bhangra Club brought their colourful outfits and highly choreographed moves to the stage.
And Floor Play, a hip hop dance crew grooved to beats laid down by DJ Einstein.
School board trustee Rhonda Pauls told the crowd these were the fifth BC Games she attended and she assured them that they were the best.
MLA Mike de Jong presented box lacrosse player Max Stalling with the WR Bennet award for his outstanding play, sportsmanship and his generosity (he recently raised $8,000) for cancer research. The award includes a $2,500 education bursary.
Before officially closing out the games by blowing out the torch, de Jong told the crowd that seeing the talent and dedication from the athletes made him hopeful for the future.
He said seeing the way community came together for the event made him proud to be from Abbotsford.
Sada Virsa Sada Gaurav Bhangra Club Photo: John Morrow