Orillia Winter Games: 28 days and counting

About 800 volunteers tasked with helping 3,500 athletes

The organizing forces behind the Ontario 2020 Winter Games in Orillia are counting down the days.

There is less than a month left before the games kick-off, before some 3,500 athletes, families, coaches, and officials descend on the Orillia and Barrie area. The games are expected to leave a mark for sure. “The economic impact of these Games is expected to be over $5 million,” Jed Levene, Chair of the Games Organizing Committee, said at a media conference Thursday.

About 800 volunteers have been recruited to help in all aspects of the Games, especially in the early hours of the event. Levene explains that each of the participants will be required to complete nine tasks upon arrival. . “That’s 31,500 tasks that need to be completed,” said Levene, noting that “without volunteers, it just wouldn’t be possible.”

One of those athletes will be Twin Lakes Secondary School student Emily Gordon; it will be her first time competing. “I’m really excited,” Gordon said. “It’s really important to us as athletes to show off what we can do and how far we’ve come,”

The Games run from February 27th to March 1st, with 27 different events taking place in the Orillia area. There is no charge to attend any of these events.