Photo: Doug Ross, Recreation Services Director for the City of Vernon and Maxine Smallwood of Kitimat who has been to all 30 55+BC Games lit the torch at Kal Tire Place (Pete McIntyre/Kiss FM)
There was lots of music, laughter and fun as the 30th annual 55 Plus BC Games officially got underway in Vernon Wednesday night.
Thirty-six-hundred participants from 12 zones around BC marched into Kal Tire Place, with the Okanagan team getting the biggest cheer as they made their entrance last.
Games President Wee Yee told the crowd, the Games are a chance for people to enjoy themselves.
“One thing we are going to do is, we’re going to jack you up, we’re going to get you full of adrenaline, we’re going to get you hyper just like a sugar high, and then you know what? We’re going to send you home and let your kids deal with you,” said Yee as part of the two hour ceremony.
Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund told the crowd, he is impressed with the shape some of the athletes are in.
“I saw some of the people walking up here. Some of you don’t look over 50. I don’t know how you do it,” said Mund.
Vernon resident Mira Grypink, who has competed in swimming in 27 games, brought the torch into the ceremony along with her daughters Jacquie Grypink and Monique Fortin who also compete in swimming.
Maxine Smallwood of Kitimat — who has been to all 30 of the events — and Vernon’s Recreation Services Director Doug Ross lit the torch.
The night’s entertainment was rich and varied, including the Okanagan Indian Band dancers and drummers, the Vernon Community Singers, Megan Hamilton, a rhythmic gymnast, and singer Andrew Allen.
Competition in 27 sports continues until Saturday in Vernon. Coldstream, Armstrong and Spallumcheen.