By: Tony Davis
Bob Bentley is excited with the possibility of the 2023 Canada Winter Games on P.E.I.
Bentley gathered at Founder’s Hall in Charlottetown along with nearly 100 people to support the province’s bid on the games. He is part of Biathlon P.E.I. and hopes another Winter Games on the Island would help raise the profile of the sport even further.
“It would be an amazing impact on our sport.”
“It was 1991 when the last winter games were held in P.E.I. and at that time, Brookvale Provincial Park was one of the sights for the games,” he said.
“A biathlon range and set of trails was built at that time. It is not at current IBU (International Biathlon Union) standard. So, this would be a real change to the infrastructure at Brookvale.”
Biathlon P.E.I has been very active in recruiting people, Bentley said. The sport is becoming more popular because people are looking for more variety in their winter sports.
“Certainly Mark Arendz has had a huge impact on this sport,” he added.
Bentley has two kids who are in the biathlon introductory program roller-skating and laser shooting.
“They don’t normally shoot in the standing position,” he said.
The kids usually shoot in the prone position, but Bentley thought they should give it a try at the Winter Games Rally to mix it up for them.
It wasn’t just biathlon on display. There was singing, dancing, gymnastics and several other sports exhibitions and entertainment on display last Thursday.
Evan Johnston is the chairman of the bid evaluation committee; he was impressed with P.E.I. and believes the games could have a positive impact on the province.
“The Canada games is a special brand. It has the potential to make a profound impact on this province just like it does in every other province.”
Johnston was impressed with the faculties and infrastructure, but most importantly it was the people who were enthusiastic about the potential of a Winter Games held in their home province.
“It’s clear to me over the last few days… that P.E.I is a very special place.”
Even though the final decision on the games has yet to be officially announced, two years ago P.E.I. swapped dates for the Winter Games with the Northwest Territories. The last Canada Games held on the Island were the 2009 Canada Summer Games.