B.C. 2020 Summer Games cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns

B.C.'s 2020 Summer Games, which were to be held in Maple Ridge this July, have been cancelled by the provincial government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture says it was clear that "there was no viable path forward" to host the games this year after conversations with the B.C. Games Society.

"Keeping British Columbians safe and healthy is our top priority," said Lisa Beare in a Wednesday press release..

The B.C. Summer and Winter Games are held every two years. This year's Summer Games were scheduled to run July 23-26. On Tuesday, Maple Ridge city council unanimously voted to postpone and host the games in 2024 instead.

Prince George and Greater Vernon are still on track to host the 2022 B.C. Summer and Winter Games, respectively.

The B.C. Games Society says in its press release that following provincial orders to restrict large gatherings, cancelling the games "supports efforts to contain the spread of the virus and focus available resources and public attention on overcoming the pandemic."

"It is very unfortunate for athletes and coaches across the province who will not have a B.C. Games experience this summer, but this is bigger than all of us," said Alison Noble, President and CEO of the B.C. Games Society. 

According to the society, the province invests close to $2 million to support the biennial games and prepare future athletes for the Canada Games. The 2018 Summer Games brought together 3,100 participants and 2,500 volunteers for four days of sporting competition in the Cowichan region. 

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