Featuring 19 sports, over 150 events and a major arts and cultural festival, the 2019 Canada Winter Games will welcome up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 20,000 visitors.
Meet Calgary artistic gymnast Elijah Thompson. Elijah carried the flag on behalf of Team Alberta into the opening ceremonies at the Enmax Centrium.
Elijah was named to the Canadian National Team at age 10 and bloomed as a gymnast. In 2014, at 13 years of age, Elijah went under ground-breaking surgery to remove a rare cyst in his right wrist, and spent the following year recovering.
He came back to competition the following year and qualified for the Canadian National Championships. Through hard work and determination, he won his age category at the University of Calgary International Cup.
But Elijah is not just a great athlete. Since age 9, he has been raising money for the charitable organization Right To Play. He has raised close to $6000 so far in his ongoing efforts. Thompson was honoured by receiving the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal for his extraordinary fundraising efforts for the organization.
In February 2009, I began raising funds for Right To Play after being challenged by my friend, Kyle Shewfelt. The need has never been greater for children here in Canada and in countries throughout the world experiencing poverty and war to enjoy the fundamental right of every child to play. This right is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 31) and it is my mission to make it a reality for more children every year.
Congratulations to Elijah and all the other athletes who give back.
Canada Games will continue through to March 3. Here is a link to the schedule and results.