FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The 26th World Masters Allround Games speed skating competition is officially underway at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.
Mayor Lori Ackerman and Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer were on hand to officially open the games this morning, along with, members of the RCMP, officials, volunteers, and members of the local Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club.
Among the nearly 100 skaters from as far away as The Netherlands, Australia, Romania, and Italy are of course a number of Canadians. Five Fort St. John residents are among Canada’s contingent at the Allround Games. Dennis Morrison, Ken Johnson, Ada de Klein, Heather McCracken, and Jennifer Gibson will be repreasenting the Elks and the Energetic City on the Pomeroy’s oval truck Friday through Sunday in five different events. For Morrison, the event marks his first Allround Games, though he is no stranger to International competition as the father of Jay and Denny Morrison. “I’m trying not to be excited, but I’m excited,” said Morrison. “You don’t want to be too nervous. You try and make a plan beforehand and just stick with that. Keep your mind occupied and try and stay relaxed.”
McCracken and de Klein say that competing on home ice is a new feeling. “It’s a lot different being at home in a competition like this,” said McCracken. De Klein, who moved to Fort St. John from The Netherlands only 18 months ago, added that having the ability to compete on an indoor track is a big bonus. “It feels really professional, the organisation. Everything is going smooth, so that helps with your preparation as well.”
The Allround Games will be running this weekend at the Pomeroy Sport Centre until Sunday. The event is open to the public.