Hearing young athletes rave about the great time they had and how nicely they were treated.
Hearing a parent from Conception Bay South tell Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball as the last athletes left Sunday morning that she was so impressed with the hospitality and warm welcome her child received that she would definitely come back for a visit.
Those moments put a smile across the face of Junior Pinksen.
Pinksen and Christa Jones worked long hours over the past few months as co-chairpersons of the host committee for the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games hosted by the Town of Deer Lake this past week.
“The early mornings and late nights was really satisfying,” Pinsen told The Western Star Sunday after seeing the last group of athletes hop on a bus for home.
Pinksen was in an upbeat mood all week because things went so well and he credits everything to the work of the volunteers who made sure everybody was feeling at home.
“You weren’t home, but it felt like it was home,” he said.
There were some challenges with a delay in the start of the opening ceremonies because of a mechanical issue with a bus, and high winds in the Wreckhouse Area on changeover day caused a delay in transporting athletes from the Port aux Basques area to Deer Lake, but Mother Nature didn’t win this battle and that’s all that mattered to Pinksen.
He was proud of the way the volunteers rose to the occasion. He knows it was their effort that put the smile on so many faces, so it was time well invested on his part.
It was all about the athletes. He was feeling pretty good Sunday knowing the athletes went home with a good feeling about the place they called home for a brief time in their young lives.