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Thomson: Okanagan athletes inspire our Olympic spirit

The Olympics are an exciting time, and a great opportunity to cheer for our Canadian athletes on the world stage.

We’re all counting down to the start of the Winter Olympics on Feb. 7, but there are also events happening across the province and ways to get involved in the Olympic spirit right here in the Okanagan.

Big White is hosting the first race in the Western Canada Open Ski Cross Series, before the races move on to Lake Louise and Prince George.

What’s especially exciting about this event is that B.C. Alpine is working with our friends in Alberta to open up the course to members of the public and ski clubs from both provinces.

Even if you can’t make it to the ski cross events, now is the time to take your family to Big White for some skiing or snowboarding. Remember to stay safe, and have fun!

There will be lots of celebrating across the province during the Olympics, including an event hosted by Canadian Sport Institute, which the Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes will be attending.

The Canadian Sport Institute has invited B.C Olympians and Paralympians, past and present, to a Sochi Celebration in Whistler later this month to cheer on Team Canada and B.C. athletes ahead of the Olympics.

You won’t need to go as far as Whistler to cheer on our athletes.

The Olympics and Paralympics are a great time to gather as a community and take pride in our province and our country.

Host a viewing party for your favourite winter sport in the Olympics, or look for community events to get in the Olympic spirit.

We can all be proud of Team Canada, especially the B.C. talent from here in the Okanagan.

Good luck to Shea Weber, from Sicamous, and Duncan Keith, from Penticton, both on the Team Canada men’s hockey team.

Kelowna’s own skeleton racer Eric Neilson will be heading to Sochi, with the support of our entire community, including his alma mater high school, Rutland Senior Secondary.

Another Kelowna athlete and alumnae of Rutland Secondary School, Kelsey Serwa, will be competing in ski cross.

After a serious ACL knee injury, Kelsey managed to recover and come back to win the Olympic test event in Sochi last February.

It is an honour to have all of them representing our region, province, and country on the global stage, and we are behind them all the way to the medal podium.

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