KAMLOOPS --- The 2018 B.C. Winter Games are three months away, but already the cauldron is lit, glowing at the Tournament Capital Centre where it will stand from now until the Games conclude on Feb. 25.
"It was a great honour to represent my school and Kamloops in such a big event across B.C.," said Westsyde basketball player Nathan Strank.
Wednesday night marked a celebration, as there are less than 100 days until the opening ceremony in Kamloops. A half a dozen high school athletes had the privilege of participating in the torch relay that culminated in Kamloops mayor Ken Christian and Games President Niki Remesz sharing the honouring of officially lighting the cauldron to conclude the evening.
WATCH: TORCHLIGHTING CEREMONY AT THE TCC
"It was really exciting to light that torch and have it burning and to really start the kickoff to the Winter Games," said Remesz. "We're so excited. The team that we have in place of over 120 directors and chairs are really raising the bar, creating fantastic legacies and showing a real committment to these Games."
One of the young athletes carrying the torch was Shaylyn Kovacs, a high school volleyball player at Valleyview Secondary who twice competed in the B.C. Winter Games as an alpine ski racer.
"My family's just a really big ski family and I had some friends who ski raced, so we got involved in the club and I was racing from the time I was five until 15 years old," she said. "It's super cool, it's really inspiring. It makes you want to pursue sports. It's just a really neat experience getting to see everyone from all the different sports being in one place."
At Kovacs' last Winter Games in 2014, she was 14 years old but has since switched her focus to volleyball and her studies. But as an alum, she said she will be involved come February.
"I'll probably be volunteering up at Sun Peaks with the ski racing," she said. "I'll probably try to watch some other sporting events too if I can."
Remesz noted that three months before the start of the Games, the organizing committee is still short on volunteers with only one-quarter of the required 2,000 having already signed up. She said anyone interested in volunteering can visit the B.C. Games website or visit the Kamloops Sports Council on Lorne Street to fill out a registration form.
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