News / Winnipeg

'Hottest summer in half a century': Heat wave sets in for Canada Games

The Canada Summer Games opened with above seasonal temperatures, which led to 'minor incidents' with a few spectators.

Competitors splash into the swim section of the Canada Summer Games Male Individual Triathalon at Birds Hill Park just outside Winnipeg, Man. on Monday, July 31, 2017.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Competitors splash into the swim section of the Canada Summer Games Male Individual Triathalon at Birds Hill Park just outside Winnipeg, Man. on Monday, July 31, 2017.

Soaring temperatures over the weekend and on Monday have so far lived up to the Canada Summer Games tagline, as the early days certainly felt a lot like “the hottest summer in half a century.”
 
A special weather statement issued by Enviroment Canada stated the obvious to anyone who had been outside, “a very warm and humid airmass continues to give above seasonal temperatures to southern Manitoba.”

But Jeff Hnatiuk, president and CEO of the games, said organizers, volunteers and athletes were “well prepared” to handle the heat.
 
“I think the athletes have trained in it, they’ve competed in the heat, their coaches and trainers are well-educated, they’re able to participate in this kind of heat,” he said. “And as a host society, it’s our responsibility to keep things like water and ice available for them.”
 
There are some adjustments he said organizers have had to make on the fly, including getting extra water to venues, “providing umbrellas for volunteers out in the sun,” and taking time-outs for hydration during certain competitions.
 
But "heat and extreme heat is something that we had in our planning,” Hnatiuk explained, adding it’s one reason there are medical professionals at every event.
 
Unfortunately, some spectators may not have planned as carefully. 
 
Hnatiuk said first aid was required in “a couple of situations with spectators" during the opening weekend.
 
“They’ve had to be treated on site, but those have been minor incidents,” he said.
 
Organizers have advised sport fans bring fluid, sun-screen, and hats with them to outdoor events, which Hnatiuk believes has worked for the most part.
 
“The couple incidents we did have with spectators seemed to have been isolated situations… (spectators) seem to be taking, for the most part, necessary precautions," he said.
 
Hnatiuk also noted some relief should be on the way—the Environment Canada statement alluded to relief coming by way of a “cold frontal passage” bringing “cooler temperatures for the remainder of the week.”

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