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Canadian Athletes Ready for Commonwealth Games

Since the inaugural event was staged in Hamilton, Ontario back in 1930, Canada has had a strong association with the Commonwealth Games. This year, on Oct. 3rd, many of our very best summer athletes – including Olympic medallists – will continue the tradition as they strive for success at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.

Similar to the Olympic Games, four years separates each Commonwealth Games. In 2010, Canada will send over 250 athletes to New Delhi to compete against top athletes from over 70 nations. Among the athletes expected to compete are Canadian Olympic medallists Carol Huynh (wrestling), Alexandre Despatie (diving), and Ryan Cochrane (swimming), just to name a few. In addition, many of those participating in the Commonwealth Games will be using it as a springboard to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“We are very excited as the Opening Ceremony in Delhi is approaching fast. It will surely be a spectacular sport and cultural festival,” said Martha Deacon, Canada’s Chef de Mission for Delhi 2010. “Our team of 400 athletes, coaches and support staff has prepared well, and we’re ready to win!”

The Canadian contingent will be led by flag bearer Ken Pereira, captain of the men’s field hockey team. Pereira, a two-time Olympian, will be competing in his fourth Commonwealth Games. Ken Pereira is perhaps best known for his memorable goal in the 1999 Pan American gold-medal game against Argentina, a goal which propelled the Canadian team into the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Unfortunately concerns regarding preparations for the XIX Commonwealth Games have surfaced in recent weeks. Several nations, including Canada, had expressed concerns about delays in the completion of the Athletes’ Village in India. Thankfully, a renewed confidence came to light last week, as Commonwealth Games Canada officials said they are pleased with recent preparations and expect the event to proceed without delay.

Canada has won a total of 1,316 medals (third overall in medal standings) in the history of these Games. The country’s participation in the event is led by Commonwealth Games Canada. Despite the news being reported, Canadian athletes remain eager and are ready to add to Canada’s already impressive Commonwealth Games legacy.

For more, visit www.commonwealthgames.ca.