Wrestler Rupinder Johal of Abbotsford led a Team BC contingent of 382 athletes, 87 coaches and managers, and 25 mission staff into the Opening Ceremony of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games on Saturday, kicking off Canada's top multi-sport competition that's set to run from August 6-21.
The 2022 Canada Summer Games will see over 5,000 young athletes and staff descend on the Niagara region for two weeks of the top multi-sport competition in Canada. Athletes will compete in 18 sports at venues across 13 municipalities in Niagara.
Johal has represented Canada at multiple international championships, including the 2022 U17 World Championships and U17 Pan Am Championships, where she struck Gold in the 73kg category and won the Women‘s Outstanding Wrestler Award.
Johal, also earned Gold at the U17 Canadian Trials and Silver at the U20 Canadian Trials in 2022, is an honour roll student and went undefeated in BC high school competition during the 2021-22 season. She did not surrender a single point during her high school season.
Team BC athletes also came together for the first provincial Pep Rally of the Canada Games, setting the tone for a cheer-worthy day in Niagara. The Pep Rally featured a photo booth, tattoo station, therapy dogs, and music, followed by words of encouragement from the Team BC Chefs and alumni Olympians.
Quotes from Team BC
“It’s an incredible feeling to have all of the athletes and staff here and to see how excited they are to represent our province,” said Chef de Mission Jennifer Scott. “Pulling on the Team BC uniform is an honour that our teams don’t take for granted, and they have put in a remarkable amount of preparation to get ready for the next two weeks of competition." - Jennifer Scott, Team BC Chef de Mission
“It is great for our athletes and coaches to experience the fastest game on two feet, the Creator’s Game, lacrosse, at such a prestigious event as the Canada Summer Games.” - Jeff Gombar, BCLA Executive Director
“The pandemic has been so hard on people with intellectual disabilities. It‘s been very powerful to see how thrilled and grateful Special Olympics athletes are to come back together with friends and competitors at their year-round Special Olympics programs and at competitions." - Michelle Cruickshank, Special Olympics BC Sport & Program Manager
“Wrestling is typically an individual sport; the Canada Games provides a unique atmosphere of having athletes come together as a team to compete on the individual, wrestling team and Team BC level. It is an experience like no other, to build memories and relationships that they will hold for the rest of their wrestling careers." – Laura Steffler, Women's Wrestling Coach
"We have a strong, cohesive team of athletes who are excited to compete on the National stage after a challenging few years due to COVID. They are ready to give it their all.” - Ellen Pennock, Triathlon Coach
"The Canada Summer Games provides a much-needed developmental opportunity for our swimmers. This multi-sport experience is unique and significant in each swimmer’s progress through the sport." - Cory Beatt, Swim BC Technical Director
"To play for team BC and compete against the other Provinces is a great opportunity and to play in a multi-sport games is something I have been looking forward to for years." – Lucie Romeo, Rugby Athlete