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Athletes express disappointment with games cancellations

By Randy Thoms Jan 12, 2024 | 5:39 AM

Michael Pedersen / CC

Some athletes from northwestern Ontario are expressing their disappointment with the cancellation of events scheduled for the Ontario Winter Games in Thunder Bay.

Travel and cost are being cited as a reason for fourteen events being dropped from next month’s provincial competition.

Four squash players from Fort Frances were among those that earned the right to compete.

Julia Guertin was looking forward to competing for the first time only to learn her sport was one of those cancelled.

“This would be my first year competing in the Winter Games, but also my last. I’m 17 now, and it ages out at 19, so it’s under 19. So basically 18 and younger. By the time the Winter Games come around next, I will be 19 and unable to compete,” says Guertin.

Guertin says she spent a lot of hours training and sacrificed going to tournaments for other sports and different games in preparation.

She feels the events should still proceed evening if the number of athletes attending is lower than normal.

“It still should have gone on because that’s showing the dedication to the sport and wanting to play and all that. I understand that some can’t travel this distance, but for those who are willing to make the sacrifice for it, we should be able to compete.”

Guertin says she has sent emails to Squash Ontario but has yet to receive a response.

She has also reached out to the area’s senior politicians to see if they can do anything.