Skip Rachel Homan (right) and her curling team of (left to right) Lisa Weagle, Joanne Courtney and Emma Miskew won the Olympic curling trial last month in Ottawa. The team will be at Big White Saturday for the official send-off of Canada’s 2018 Winter Olympic athletes.—Image: Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

Olympians to get Big White send-off Saturday

The ski hill east of Kelowna will host a party to wish the athletes well in PyeongChang next month

Members of Canada’s Winter Olympic team heading to the Pyeongchang games in South Korea next month will get an official send-off–Okanagan style—at Big White Ski Resort Saturday.

The send-off, one of the biggest events the ski hill has ever staged, will feature a day of festivities including free skating, a barbecue, live music, reduced-price tubing, introduction of, and a meet-and-greet with, the athletes who will be on hand, athlete introductions and a parade, as well as an after party.

“With Canadian artists performing on the main stage, sports activations and Molson Canadian flowing, we’ve made sure there’s no shortage of excitement as we send-off Team Canada athletes on Jan. 6,” said Big White in a news release.

“At this event, guests will be treated to an Olympic-style athlete introduction and parade, the opportunity to engage with athletes, an electrifying musical performance by Canadian headliner July Talk, and a technicolour laser and firework show.”

Related story: Big White to send off Olympians in style

The day’s activities get underway at 10 a.m. with the send off slated to start at 2:30 p.m.

Some of the athletes who will be in attendance will include members of the Rachel Homan women’s Olympic curling team—Homan, Joanne Courtney, Emma Miskew and Lisa Weagle, as well as Kevin Hill (snowboard cross), Meryeta O’Dine (snowboard cross), Tess Critchlow (snowboard cross), Ben Hebert (curling) and Scott Pfeifer (curling).

A number of other former Winter and Summer Canadian Olympians will also be on hand including:

• Jeff Christie, Two-time Olympian, luge

• Greg Edgelow, Barcelona 1992 Olympian, wrestling

• Sandra Jenkins, Turin 2006 Olympic bronze medallist, curling

• Arianne Jones, Sochi 2014 Olympian, luge

• Élise Marcotte, Two-time Olympian, synchronized swimming

• Maëlle Ricker, Vancouver 2010 Olympic gold medalist, snowboarding

• Joshua Riker-Fox, Beijing 2008 Olympian, modern pentathlon

• Brittany Rogers, Two-time Olympian, artistic gymnastics

• Hayley Wickenheiser, Four-time Olympic gold medalist, hockey

• Erica Wiebe, Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist, wrestling

The opening ceremony will be hosted by former snowboard competitor and now television commentator Craig McMorris and former Canadian Olympic downhill skier Kelly Vanderbeek.

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