January 10, 2024 – After more than two years of planning, the Thunder Bay 2024 Ontario Winter Games, presented by Hydro One, are set to kick off on February 16.

More than 1,350 athletes, coaches and officials are expected to participate in 13 sports ranging from cross country skiing to wrestling, with most athletes’ ages ranging from 12 to 18 years old. The extended community has also come together with the strength of over 1,000 volunteers who have answered the call to help put on the Games.

“We are ready and thrilled to be welcoming Ontario’s top young athletes, coaches and officials to Thunder Bay,” said Barry Streib, Chair of the Games Organizing Committee. “We look forward to delivering an unforgettable experience for all participants, and we can’t wait to kick off this celebration of sport.”

The Games provide top young athletes with development and competitive opportunities to prepare them for national and international competition. The event was first delivered in 1970 by the City of Etobicoke, and last held in Thunder Bay in 1974. Thunder Bay was awarded the 2024 Games by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport through a competitive bid process back in April 2022.

“We have been working closely with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to help address challenges we’ve faced regarding participant travel, stemming from high flight costs and a reduction in the airline capacity flying in and out of Thunder Bay since the City’s initial bid to host,” said Matthew Lawrence, Games Coordinator. “Our goal has always been to ensure as many athletes are able to attend as possible, and to put on a top-notch event for them.”

Opening ceremonies will take place on Friday, Feb. 16 and again Feb. 23 at Fort William Historical Park from 5 to 9 pm. The events are open to the public and free of charge. More details will be released in the coming week. “The entire community is encouraged to come out and help us celebrate the opening of the Games and welcome the athletes to Thunder Bay,” added Lawrence.

Many corporate sponsors have shown their support for the Games including Presenting Sponsor Hydro One and major sponsors Thunder Bay Pulp & Paper, Tbaytel, Ontario Power Generation, Resolute Forest Products and several more.

For more information, visit: www.tbaygames2024.ca

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Contact:       Stacey Levanen, Supervisor – Corporate Communications & Community Engagement, 807-625-3650