It took planning. It took vision. And most of all it took heart.
The 2018 BC Summer Games are now in the record books, and by all accounts the Cowichan-hosted event was a huge success.
This success belongs first and foremost to the athletes, of course, who all ran, swam, jumped and paddled their hearts out for glory, team and personal pride.
Whether they came in first or last (though it’s always nice to stand on the podium), by all accounts the athletes enjoyed every minute of their time in the Cowichan Valley, at venues from Lake Cowichan to Ladysmith, Shawnigan Lake to Duncan.
They will remember this experience for the rest of their lives, as our MLA Sonia Furstenau noted in her Friday column in the Citizen, where she talked a little about her memories as a competitive teenage athlete.
Then there are all the people who made it happen behind the scenes, led by Jennifer Woike and Mona Kaiser, who helmed the Cowichan contingent of Games architects and volunteers. From those who made food for thousands to those who drove the buses, it took an army to pull this together.
The parents and coaches also deserve high praise.
And so does the Cowichan community as a whole. We once again collectively showed why we’re called the Warm Land, welcoming everyone with open arms and a friendly smile. Once again, as we did when we hosted the BC Seniors Games and the North American Indigenous Games, Cowichan proved that we are capable of putting on big events with just as much success as cities that are far larger.
We were able to showcase what we all know: the Cowichan Valley is among the best places in the world to live and play.
This success should ensure that we get future opportunities to show what we can do when it comes to hosting significant sports events.