Opening and closing ceremonies will be held July 22 and July 30 at Place Bell
It was time to get down and party at Place Bell on Wednesday morning last week as organizers and politicians gathered for an official kickoff for the 55th Jeux du Québec Finals – exactly one-hundred days before the amateur provincial sporting event is scheduled to start in Laval.
Although the Jeux du Québec Finals were originally supposed to take place here in 2020, the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in late 2019 delayed the event for two years.
Be there in July!
The multidisciplinary sports event, bringing together 3,300 young athletes from all over the province, will be taking place from July 22 to July 30 at venues throughout the Laval region. The games’ official spokesperson is someone most people from Laval should know at least a little by now – Alexandre Despatie.
The Canadian Olympic silver medal diving champion is a long-time Laval resident and an eager promoter of the upcoming sports competitions in Laval. It was at a past Jeux du Québec that Despatie got his start in diving.
Can lead to the Olympics
“I am honored to represent the Finals, which are taking place in city of my birth next summer,” said Despatie, noting that the Jeux du Québec tend to motivate participants to want to move upwards into Olympic competition. “The athletes are getting ready to experience something they’ve never seen in their lives, whether it’s on the sports or personal levels,” he added.
Regardless of the two-year delay, city councillor Nicholas Borne said Laval is ready. “Finally, after two years of postponements, we are almost there,” he said. “It is truly with great pride that out city is hosting this important gathering celebrating youth and sports.
130,000 visitors expected
“The entire community of Laval is coming together to warmly welcome the 130,000 visitors who will be arriving from the four corners of Quebec next July,” Borne continued. “The athletes will be able to enjoy first-rate sports infrastructures, while being able to depend on the support of enthusiastic spectators, as well as devoted volunteers and a sporting environment where nothing has been spared for this celebration.”
The multidisciplinary sports event, bringing together 3,300 young athletes, will be taking place from July 22 to July 30
Mayor Stéphane Boyer, who arrived late to the launch because of a pressing earlier engagement, said he felt confident that the games would be taking place smoothly, after the delays that held things up over the past 24 months.
Laval hosted games in 1971
Coincidence or not, it was just a little more than 50 years ago that the City of Laval (which had only come into being in 1965) hosted the 1971 Jeux du Québec Winter Games – which were the first ever. A few months later, Rivière du Loup was the place to be for the first-ever Jeux du Québec Finals.
Former Laval mayor Marc Demers, who was a key player in getting Jeux du Québec organizers to agree to stage the 2022 Finals in Laval, was on in the audience during last week’s kickoff, and he received a warm round of applause in acknowledgement of his efforts.
Games sites all over Laval
In all, the 55th Jeux du Québec Finals will be taking place at 14 competition sites all over Laval, including Place Bell where cycling events will be on an outdoor track, and competitive swimming events, which will be staged at the Centre de la Nature. The complete schedule of events and programming can be viewed online at https://laval2022.jeuxduquebec.com/fr/sports.html. The opening and closing ceremonies will be taking place at Place Bell. Tickets for the events are being sold for $20 each.