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Quebec Claims Top Spot at 2011 Canada Games

HunterVisserCanadaGamesThe 2011 Canada Winter Games wrapped up this past weekend after celebrating two weeks of competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from February 11-27.

The Province of Quebec walked away the overall winner with 137 medals, finishing ahead of Ontario (110) and British Columbia (88). Alberta finished fourth with 75 total medals.

Each of the 13 Canadian provinces and territories competed in the event in traditional winter competition, including alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, speed and figure skating and ice hockey. However, summer sports such as archery, table tennis, boxing and badminton (amongst others) were also contested.

Besides the overall medal tally, the Canada Games includes the Flag Point competition in which “…points are awarded to every athlete in every sport based on performance and participation and then aggregated for a provincial or territorial total.”

Despite falling short in the total medal count, Ontario flip-flopped with Quebec, taking the Flag Point title with 312 points.

The Games also consist of the Centennial Cup, another point system recognizing the greatest improvement from the previous competition to the next. Nova Scotia, the host province, took this year’s Centennial Cup with 21.5 points.

In Alpine Skiing, Ontario took the most medals with 12, three better than rival Quebec. Canada’s biggest province (in population) also took the overall snowboarding title with seven medals, again edging Quebec.

Quebec and British Columbia each took eight medals in Freestyle Skiing, while Ontario (5) and Alberta (4) took third and fourth place. Lastly, British Columbia hauled in 13 Cross-Country medals, two more than Quebec and Alberta (11 each) and Ontario (10).

In Ice Hockey, the showcase event at the Canada Games, British Columbia beat Quebec 7-4 in the Men’s Gold Medal Match, while in the women’s competition Alberta toppled Ontario 3-2 to claim first place.

Organizers estimate that almost every event was sold out with roughly 400,000 people streaming the games live over the internet. The Canada Games also exceeded its $8.2M sponsorship and $1M ticket revenue target.

Held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the Canada Games are a key event in the development of Canada’s young athletes. The Games are also the product of ongoing collaboration between the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, host municipalities, the private sector and the Canada Games Council.

The next Canada Games will take place in 2013 in Sherbrooke, Que. while the next winter version of the Games is scheduled for 2015 in Prince George, B.C.

Ryan O'Leary

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