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Weather is the only concern for organizers of 2018 Games in Deer Lake

Deer Lake gymnasts Kylie Coish and Sara O'Brien were at the Deer Lake town hall Tuesday checking out the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games merchandise that will be sold during the Games, being staged in Deer Lake from March 10-18.
Deer Lake gymnasts Kylie Coish and Sara O'Brien were at the Deer Lake town hall Tuesday checking out the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games merchandise that will be sold during the Games, being staged in Deer Lake from March 10-18. - Photo by Roxanne Ryland

Deer Lake is ready to provide the province’s young athletes with a memorable experience as host of the 2018 Canada Winter Games.

With the event less than three weeks away, the only concern Games co-ordinator Brad Romaine has is the weather.

As evident by the crazy rainstorm that pounded the west coast last month and a change in the weather almost overnight from warm to frost, it makes sense to be concerned given two of the venues for the Games — nordic ski venue Pasadena Ski and Nature Park and alpine ski venue Marble Mountain in Steady Brook — depend on Mother Nature to deliver a favourable forecast for the athletes to be immersed in a safe race environment.

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Games co-ordinator Brad Romaine confident Deer Lake will be ready to host 2018 NL Winter Games

Romaine said he’s not overly concerned about Marble Mountain as long as the evening temperatures are cool so the snowmaking guns can be broken out, but he admits Nordic skiers are at the mercy of the weather and organizers have their fingers crossed that the weather will co-operate.

If the weather isn’t ideal for Nordic skiing in Pasadena, the alternative is to look at Blow Me Down Trails with its high elevation as a possible solution, but again it all depends on what kind of precipitation falls at the time.

“If it comes down to it that it’s not safe then, unfortunately, it would have to be cancelled,” Romaine said.

Romaine only had a year to carry out the planning for the 2018 Games so he’s quite pleased with how things are starting to fall into place with the Games just around the corner.

The volunteers are ready and eager. More than 400 have already registered and there’s always people who sign up at the last minute after they have cleared their busy schedules.

All of the venues are ready and volunteers are in place in the other partnering communities such as Corner Brook, Steady Brook and Pasadena.

More importantly, the City of Corner Brook has become the new venue for figure skating after Games organizers decided two weeks ago that it was best to make a switch because there have been mechanical issues with the ice plant at the original venue — the Gros Morne Arena in Rocky Harbour.

Romaine said Games officials didn’t want to take a chance on the mechanical issue causing delays or cancellations so they decided to avoid any hiccups by making the switch.

He also said safety was taken into consideration when organizers thought about bussing athletes down the Northern Peninsula during the winter when travelling snow-covered roads could put somebody’s safety at risk.

It’s a fun time for athletes to converge on one place to create lifelong memories through sport.

Romaine said Deer Lake is ready to make it a great event for all hands and he’s happy to be part of something that he didn’t realize was so big until he took on the role of Games co-ordinator back in May.

March 10-18 is a week where over 1,200 of the province’s top athletes will be gunning for gold and the town is ready to welcome them.

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