If there’s one thing all Yukoners know, it’s this: weather is a federal responsibility.
So, athletes, coaches and kibitzers shivering on Whitehorse’s windswept streets now know who to write if they want to complain about this infernal cold snap.
It, um … isn’t usually like this in February. Very often.
The rest of the responsibility for the Canada Winter Games falls on the community’s shoulders.
And, in the last couple of weeks, it was announced that more than 4,000 people had stepped up to stage this national event.
That’s a spectacular accomplishment for a burg with just over 20,000 people.
It means almost one adult out of every household in the city has donated their time to make this thing happen.
For four years, a dedicated team of project managers has spent considerable time on evenings and weekends laying the groundwork for this event.
And now Whitehorse’s citizen army will be carrying out their well-laid plans.
They’ll be standing in the wind directing athletes to start lines, manning the barricades and information booths, grooming trails, providing security, serving meals, issuing tickets, cleaning the residences, driving and a doing a myriad of other things.
They are the heavy lifters who will carry this massive spectacle.
And, because of them, it will succeed.
An event of this magnitude has never been held north of 60. It has never been held in a town this small.
Federal, territorial and city politicians set the thing in motion, approved budgets and cut the cheques, and at today’s opening ceremonies they will place themselves smack-dab in the spotlight.
But glance into the shadows and you’ll see the people who are really making this thing happen — freely donating their time towards this Herculean community effort.
We’re talking about, literally, a city of people.
And they deserve a nod.
Athletes, coaches, officials and hangers on — welcome to Whitehorse’s 2007 Canada Winter Games.
Ottawa’s provided the cold.
We’re providing the rest.
As a community, we hope you enjoy yourselves. (RM)