Just like that, the BC Seniors Games are but a memory in West Kootenay.
What took a year to plan and hundreds of volunteers to pull off has come and gone in a matter of days, leaving us all wishing it could have lasted a little longer.
Unquestionably, it’s a great event to host. Everybody’s happy; the energy the competitors bring — along with that of their spouses and well-wishers — is so positive.
The Games also pay short-term dividends by providing a nice economic boost to accommodators, restaurants, and retailers, and hopefully there will be long term effects too.
Plus Nelson showed itself well. We were blessed with fantastic weather — co-chair Bill Reid joked that the bit of rain we received a few days prior was planned — and people left with a solid impression of this community.
Reid and fellow chairs Pat Metge of Castlegar and Keith Smyth of Trail deserve much credit for marshalling the forces needed to pull off such a tremendous undertaking with aplomb.
Although other large-scale sporting events have been jointly hosted by our neighbouring cities — such as the 1996 Air Canada Cup by Nelson and Castlegar, the 1996 BC Summer Games by Castlegar and Trail, and the 2007 World Junior A Hockey Challenge by Nelson and Trail — this was perhaps the finest example of regional co-operation yet.
It showed that working together, we can achieve something beyond the ability of any single community.
So while everyone involved should take a deep breath and accept a pat on the back for a job well done, it’s also time to start thinking about what’s next.
How long does it take to muster this kind of enthusiasm again? Not long, we hope.
The 2011 BC Seniors Games shouldn’t be merely a memory, but another page in a continued blueprint of success.