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Ottawa at the Canada Summer Games Day 2: Let the Games begin!

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(This article was first sent to subscribers of the Ottawa at the Canada Summer Games Daily Newsletter. Sign up to receive it, for free, here.)

By Dan Plouffe, Charlie Pinkerton, Mark Colley, Martin Cleary & Adamo Marinelli

With the Opening Ceremony to the 2022 Canada Summer Games officially in the books, we’re ready to dive right into the action on day two of our coverage from Niagara!

It’s been a long time coming. Originally scheduled to take place in 2021, the Games were postponed to this year because of COVID-19. That made last night’s ceremony and torch lighting all the more special.

The ceremony was hosted at the Meridian Centre in St. Catherines and featured musical performances from five-time JUNO Awards nominee Tim Hicks and Toronto singer-songwriter POESY — including POESY’s anthem for the Games, Steel Heart.

Flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony. [Photo provided by Canada Games]

It marked the end of a long journey for the Canada Games torch, which was first lit at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill back in June by two Ottawa lacrosse athletes — Tristan Thompson and Tristan Caldwell. Along with Team Ontario, the two Tristans will be welcoming the return of lacrosse to the Games for the first time in 37 years.

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The Team Ontario delegation was led by flag bearer Taija Sta Maria, a 17-year-old women’s basketball player from Vaughan. She is joined on the team by Ottawa products Jessica Wangolo, Achol Akot, and Catrina Garvey. You can read up on our coverage of the trio from Capital Courts Academy here.

Now that the pageantry is out of the way, we couldn’t be more excited for the action to get going.

Olivier Risk kicks off the action

Olivier Risk has seen it all. The 16-year-old started swimming at age four, joined the Ravens of Carleton Swimming program at age seven, and also participated in cross-country skiing, house league soccer, and track and field for good measure.

Olivier Risk won the recent Bring on the Bay open-water race from the Nepean Sailing Club to the Britannia Yacht Club. (Photo: Jamie Risk)

Now, he’s taking his skills to the Canada Games. Risk will compete in the 800-meter freestyle just after 1 p.m. today at the Eleanor Misener Aquatics Centre at Brock University.

He’ll also be joined in the pool at the Games by fellow Ottawa swimmers Julie Brousseau and Preston McMann of the Nepean-Kanata Barracudas, Grace Lu of the Ottawa Y Olympians, and Gael Shindano and Katie Xu of the Nepean Riptides.

“I’m really excited,” Risk told the Sports Pages. “I’ll live with my teammates. It will be go-go-go for the entire 1½ weeks I’m there. It will be fun to see how everyone swims. I’ll be exhausted the whole week.”

Read more about Risk and other Ottawa swimmers competing today by checking out Martin Cleary’s coverage.

Soccer, lacrosse, and tennis, oh my!

Remember the two Tristans from the torch-lighting ceremony? One of them, Tristan Thompson, will be in action at 2 p.m. today in the first-ever female box lacrosse game at the Canada Games. Thompson and Team Ontario will play in the first matchup against British Columbia.

One Ottawa athlete will also be competing with the Team Ontario soccer team as they get their games underway this afternoon. Jason Hartill of Carleton Place will look to get in on the action as Ontario plays the Northwest Territories at 4 p.m. at Youngs Sportsplex.

Hartill, who plays center midfielder, started his soccer journey 12 years ago. He trains with the Toronto FC U19 Academy.

Not to be forgotten, two Ottawa athletes will also be competing in tennis when it starts an action-packed day 2 at 9 a.m! Anna-Raphaëlle Serghi and Ray Xie — both of whom are coached by Nick Mook Sang — will look to bring home medals.

How can I watch the Games?

We’ll be back tomorrow with more coverage from the Games. Until then, you can watch almost all events on the Niagara 2022 website.

(This article was first sent to subscribers of the free Ottawa at the Canada Summer Games Daily Newsletter. Sign us to receive it below!)

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