february 2024

game on!


tbay’s iconic sporting events

“Hosting sports events has quite the ripple effect for a city like Thunder Bay. It gives a financial boost to a wide range of industries, showcases the city, and builds community. It often prompts the creation or upgrade of venues that the
population can use for years to come (in turn forging hometown heroes that
compete on the national and international stage too). All kinds of indelible memories are made, whether it’s bonding with fellow volunteers, the pageantry of
ceremonies, or the excitement of cheering on participants. Inevitably, there are
also—shall we say—lively debates about resources and spending. In this issue of
The Walleye, we take a closer look at TBay as a sports host, past, present, and
future. Let the games begin!”

– Bonnie Schiedel


Interactive digital edition

Podium Finishes

“Some of my favourite childhood memories are of the years I spent alpine skiing. I learned (and spent most of my time skiing) at the site formerly known as Big Thunder. While it was best known as a ski jumping and cross-country facility that hosted a number of international competitions, it also boasted a nice selection of more recreationally inclined downhill runs. In 1995, imagine my 11-year-old self’s surprise when I learned the world’s best ski jumpers and cross-country skiers would be competing in that year’s FIS Nordic World Ski Championships at the very same complex where I spent so many winter weekends.

While, sadly, Big Thunder would close a year later, the 1995 Nordics still served as one of many examples of the Thunder Bay area’s ability to host world-class
sporting events, and our February issue’s cover story is dedicated to celebrating that legacy, which continues to this day. To that end, we’ve enlisted the help of Diane Imrie of the Northwestern Ontario
Sports Hall of Fame to remind us of 10 of those events, Kelsey Raynard speaks with organizers of the upcoming Ontario Winter Games, Emily Turner has the story of a dedicated volunteer, highlighting
just how important those efforts are to staging these championships, and Bonnie Schiedel uncovers a trove of interesting facts and figures around our sport hosting legacy and future.”

-Matt Prokopchuk






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