Our Games 'best ever'

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:12 PM ET

The organizers talked about these being the best Ontario Summer Games ever.

It appears it wasn't just talk.

Amid glowing reviews, plans are already under way for Ottawa to submit a bid to host the next Ontario Summer Games in 2008.

Pat Reid, one of the Games organizers, confirmed the mayor's office is already drafting a letter of intent to bid for the 2008 Games to submit to city council.

"That's just how pleased everybody is with the outcome," said Reid yesterday as the Games wrapped up at 30 venues across the region.

"We exceeded our ticket revenue, the weather co-operated and our 800-plus volunteers did a spectacular job."

Jim Bradley, the CEO of the Sport Alliance of Ontario, who has attended Games since 1974, raved about what he saw in the capital.

"That talk at the opening ceremonies was if these Games would be the best ever and I think these rise to that level for sure," he said. "They were fabulous. I hit most of the venues and talked to athletes, venue managers and coaches and everybody agreed these Games were tremendously organized."

Bradley said he was happy to hear Ottawa was already laying the groundwork to bid for the Games in 2008.

"We would certainly welcome that bid," he said. "There will be a number of bids and it is a bid process, but Ottawa did such a great job this augurs well for the future."

Reid said getting permission to have the opening ceremonies scheduled so all athletes could attend (they conflicted with some competitions in the past) and creating an athletes' village in the residences at Carleton University were two of the things that set these Games apart.

"We went to (previous) Games where there were 30 kids sleeping on cots in a classroom. It was like a giant dorm and a couple of kids talking or laughing would disrupt the whole group," said Reid.

Reid was particularly happy with the work put in by volunteers Marco Manconi, the director of the athletes' village, and Leo Tardioli, the president of iFathom, which handled all the Games IT needs.

"Everybody is exhausted but incredibly pleased we were able to put on an event that 3,000 kids really enjoyed," he said. "Those kids are pumped now to take the next step and compete for their province and try to get to the Canada Games."


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