Lethbridge is expecting 1,500 seniors to roll into town for the first 55 Plus Winter Games for Alberta Feb. 19-22. Some competitors will be bowling, curling, or playing shuffleboard while hearty skiers take to the slopes of Castle Mountain 90 minutes away.
Those coming to ski race at Castle already have advanced through competitions in one of eight Alberta regions. Racers in the Winter Games compete in five-year age group brackets broken into men's and women's events.
Racers will compete for medals in giant slalom and slalom in two runs each, following traditional International Ski Competition Rules. But the medal winners for a third event won't necessarily be the skiers with the fastest times. Racers must predict their finish time, and the winners are those who have the lowest difference between their predicted time and their actual race time.
Seniors have been competing every two years in Alberta's Winter Games since 1980, comprising about 10 percent of the competitors, but Alberta hosted only Summer Games specifically for seniors. The addition of the 55 Plus Winter Games is an outgrowth of requests by seniors for more winter events and more options to participate.
- Snow Reports