One year from now Prince George will host a World Championships for the first time. It will also be the first time the World Para Nordic Championships take place in Canada.
To mark “one-year out,” the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club is joining with Engage Sport North, Tourism Prince George, and the City of Prince George on Saturday (17 February) to present free events that will inspire all ages and foster participation.
Paralympian Michelle Stilwell will speak in the Otway Nordic Centre lodge, recounting her experiences that led to becoming a quadriplegic at 17 before later winning six gold medals in three Paralympic Games.
Also a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Stilwell will then try sit-skiing for the first time as sit-skiing is one of the Para Nordic events. British Columbia Para Nordic coach Tony Chin will also be demonstrating sit-skiing for those who want to try it.
“The idea of this one-year out event is to start exposing Prince George residents to the amazing people who will be coming here in 2019 for the first World Championships in our city’s history,” said Kevin Pettersen, chair of the Local Organising Committee.
“We're going to do that by having a decorated Canadian Paralympian telling her story and by giving local residents – whether they currently ski or not – the chance to get acquainted with one of the Para Nordic events: sit-skiing. All of the events are free and we encourage everyone to come out to Otway and give these sports a try.”
As part of the programme, representatives of Engage Sport North will also be teaching the basics of cross-country skiing instruction at an introductory level. Engage Sport North is a multi-sport organisation dedicated to advancing sport participation in the region.
The Prince George World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will run from February 16-24, 2019. Approximately 140 athletes from 20 countries are expected to compete.
This is going to be the sixth edition of the World Championships. The latest one took place in Finsterau, Germany, in February 2017.