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Ready, Set, Go – The 2023 Alberta Summer Games Are Almost Here

Some athletes who started their journey at the ASG went on to compete in the Canada Games and even the Olympics. This is your chance to watch the next sports superstar

If you are a sports enthusiast looking to get your fix before the 2024 Olympic Summer Games, we got you covered. The 2023 Alberta Summer Games (ASG) are set to begin July 20 in Okotoks and Diamond Valley. 

The first-ever ASG was held back in 1974 and featured thousands of Albertan athletes between the ages of 11 and 17. Every two years, a host community is selected. 

In addition to full-on competition, Alberta provides a stage for young athletes to show off. Some athletes that have competed in the ASG went on to compete at the Canada Games and the Olympics.

a photo of three outdoor volleyball courts made on a large sand field with three nets
The outdoor volleyball courts in Okotoks | Jessica Dezall | Okotoks Online

In water polo, High River-born Kyra Christmas went on to become Canada’s leading scorer with 15 goals in seven matches at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

There’s also Stefan Daniel, a Calgary-born para-triathlon athlete, who made history in 2016 after becoming the first Canadian triathlete to win a Paralympic Games medal. 

The stage is now set for athletes across the province to compete at the four-day 2023 ASG in Okotoks and Diamond Valley. According to Dave Woolridge, the Alberta Games board’s sports director, preparing for the event was no small task. 

“We’ve got almost 3,000 athletes and about 700 coaches and chaperones coming to join us…We have 14 sports, 13 here in Okotoks, and we have mountain biking out in Black Diamond,” Woolridge told CTV News.

The event’s organizing committee began planning in 2019 and brought the 2023 ASG to life with the help of the community and volunteers. 

“We have about 1,300 volunteers by the time everybody’s set up…When the community comes together, everybody pitches in and does their little bit,” said Woolridge. 

In addition to volunteers, the school boards of Christ the Redeemer and Foothills School Division have offered their facilities and the Okotoks administration approved funding to build three outdoor beach volleyball courts.

“This is a point of pride. It’s an incredible undertaking when you consider the size of our communities. We are trying to make this a total experience for these kids — something memorable,” said the Alberta Games’ manager, Maria Borovich-Law.

Okotoks and Black Diamond have also received help from outside of the community. This includes support from Calgary artists Scott Clark, who painted a mural in honour of the Alberta Games in the Okotoks Recreation Centre. 

“The title is ‘Go the Distance’ (because while) winning is a fantastic feeling, I believe the qualities and traits gained in the process are even better,” said Clark. 

The ASG has received overwhelming support, but are you surprised? From raising funds to offering their homes, the heart of Albertans is second to none. 

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