Games Leave Legacy for Exploration Place
Tracy Calogheros, Shirley Gratton, Ron Neukomm, Stu Ballantyne and Barry Williams -photo 250news
Prince George, B.C.- Time flies. It has already been 28 days since the opening ceremony for the Canada Winter Games in Prince George.Today, the Games Host Society made a presentation to Exploration Place, a complete set of medals from the Games, along with the special hand crafted pouches that were given to athletes to hold their precious medals. “Twelve hundred athletes won medals like the ones we are presenting today. It is very fitting and important that we share these medals with the community” said CEO Stu Ballantyne . “It’s important that these remain in the community and everyone can enjoy them.”
There are two pins on the lanyard o each medal. Cast in the same colour as the medal, they are “parent pins”, so the parents can be proud of what their children have accomplished. Designed by Jennifer Pighin of the Lheidli T’enneh, the medal producers (Teck) were so impressed with her design, that they asked her to design the back of the medal as well.
The Lheidli T’enneh also made the pouches while high school students made the special medal presentation trays. Each student who made a tray had their own name etched into it, and that tray was returned to its creator as a memento of the Games.
Two sets of medals were donated today, one to Exploration Place , the other to the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame. Ballantyne says the medals will also be visual in a couple of other venues. “The Royal BC Museum contacted us and asked for a set of the medals. It’s not normal for them to have athletic memorabilia, but the cultural significance of having Jennifer of the Lheidli T’enneh, designing these medals has cultural significance for British Columbia, so these medals will be on display for many years to come at that level. There also will be a set at the Canada Sports Hall of Fame, and of course the B.C. sports Hall of Fame and the Canada Games Council will keep a set, as will Teck at their head office.”
The medals are just the first of what Calogheros says will be a broader exhibit that may be in place in time for the first anniversary of the opening of the Games. The volunteers were key to the success of the Games, and the “Green Jackets” may be the next item donated to the museum says Ballantyne “I think it’s highly important that the Green Jacket is reflected in the history of the City because that’s what made the Games wonderful.”
“The museum is an integral forum for this community” says Calogheros ” We are here because our community wants to have a place where they can get together, share their stories, have difficult discussions and learn about each other. I think the Games were sort of the personification of that. The community came together, the celebrations were fabulous, the competitions were unbelievable and the legacies coming out of that will be far reaching.”