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Canada Games underway in Halifax


Click on the photo for a closer look at the Canada Games
Click on the photo for a closer look at the Canada Games

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

February 11, 2011 — The 2011 Canada Games kicked off on Friday and the weather is playing a role at some venues.

Chillers are in place incase the temperatures rise
Chillers are in place incase the temperatures rise

Since 1967, thousands of athletes from across the country have gathered to compete in the Canada Games. The Games are held once every two years and alternate between winter and summer.

This year, Halifax, Nova Scotia is hosting the largest multi-sport event that's attracting visitors from every province, including The Weather Network's Maritime reporter Shelley Steeves. Steeves says weather can play a significant role at some venues, but it seemed to be a perfect start to the Games on Friday.

“The weather is ideal. We are finally getting a break after storm after storm and the weather has turned colder too.”

That's good news for the long track speed skating oval at the Halifax Commons.

“Being an outdoor rink you just have to play with it and hope for the best,” says John McLean, operator at the oval. “Every day is different you don't know what you are coming into. You don't know if you got rain the night before or cold temperatures so it's quite the challenge.”

McLean adds that falling snow isn't an issue, but if it mixes with rain the machines have trouble moving through. Milder conditions can pose their own problems as well. Operators will be keeping a close eye on the venue as temperatures are set to rise to seasonal values through the weekend.

“We have chillers because if you get into the warmer temperatures and stuff and rain you need refrigeration,” explains McLean.

Residents in New Brunswick get into the spirit and build “Sporty: The Canada Games Snowman“
Residents in New Brunswick get into the spirit and build “Sporty: The Canada Games Snowman“

The frigid conditions at the start of the Games reminded one speed skater of the weather at home.

“I am from Winnipeg and it gets pretty cold in the winter there. Sometimes we are skating in -45, but regardless it's always cold,” says Elise MacDonald, with Team Manitoba.

MacDonald says that even if the conditions do change throughout the Games, she won't feel much of an impact.

“The way I race it's more how you go into a race thinking and how it affects your mental attitude going into the race. So if you think the wind is so strong and this is going to be an awful race you may not race as well.”

The Games which kicked off on Friday, February 11 will run until Sunday, February 27 with 5,000 volunteers and 3,600 athletes, coaches and managers involved.

To stay up-to-date on the weather at the Games, check out the Halifax Forecast page. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV, where the National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of each hour.

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