Mission BC Winter Games vice-president Pam Alexis watches a crew put up the big tent at Mission Raceway Park which will hold the opening and closing ceremonies. She is ready to welcome thousands of visitors to the community next week.

Final phase of prep for the Games

Games committee members are meeting daily to iron out last minute details

Young athletes from across the province will be arriving in Mission for the BC Winter Games in just five days.

Excitement is starting to build, said Pam Alexis, vice-president of the Mission 2014 BC Winter Games, who has spent two years preparing for the four-day event.

In the final week before the welcome mats are rolled out, the Games committee members are meeting daily and putting final touches on preparations.

Almost 2,000 volunteers have signed up to help, and at last count, there are 1,881 athletes, coaches, and officials coming to Mission for the Games.

The large tent at Mission Raceway Park is being constructed this week, along with the stages, and volunteers will begin transforming nine schools into sleeping dorms when students are dismissed from schools on Wednesday. Mission schools will be closed for classes during the Games on Thursday and Friday.

The results centre will be built on Wednesday as well.

Three thousand sleeping mats, hundreds of signs, maps and pieces of sporting equipment, as well as other supplies are slowly leaving the Games warehouse and being set up at venues across Mission and surrounding communities.

Food services director, chef Peter Bucher, and his teams of six chefs are also ready to prepare the 25,000 meals that will be eaten over the four-day period. Heritage Park Centre will be the centre for meals, and can seat up to 500 athletes per sitting.

Volunteers will also be preparing thousands of boxed lunches every day which will be delivered to all 14 sites hosting a sport.

The focus this week, however, is on processing volunteers and making sure everyone has their badge and schedule. There are also training sessions every night this week for volunteers.

“So many people have come together to make the event happen,” said Alexis. “Mission has a history of volunteerism; it’s one of our greatest strengths.

“We’re as ready as we can be.”

For more information, see the special section on the 2014 BC Winter Games in this edition.

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