February 17 – March 2, 1983
Setting up and putting on the 1983 Canada Winter Games at Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean was a breeze. "We had the people who knew what had to be done, and how to do it, and we just did it," said Games President Roland Gauthier. They even finished the Games with close to a half a million dollar surplus. And when the Games ended, the surrounding areas were left with some well needed sports facilities, and the people were treated with some fabulous sports competitions from all the athletes. Eighteen different sports composed the 1983 Canada Games. This time, the team from Saskatchewan took home the Centennial Cup while Ontario once again left with the flag for the highest total.
The honour of presenting the Centennial Cup, emblematic of the most improved team in the Games, was given to four of the volunteers, representing the 6,000 who had given so freely of their time and talent to make it all work. They turned the trophy over to Saskatchewan. In the end, the Canada Games helped to strengthen the bond that volunteers had for their home and create a valuable resource pool for future events.
Of the $8 million in capital costs, close to $4 million went into a sports pavilion with a double gymnasium and a track on the campus at Chicoutimi University. Another $30,000 was spent on refurbishing the Georges Vezina Arena and then $60,000 again on building a speedskating oval. The City of Jonquiere saw close to $1 million put into a major upgrading of their Palais des Sports, $45,000 into renovations to the swimming pool at the CEGEP and about $70,000 into the bowling alleys at the military base. At Ville de la Baie, more than $670,000 was put into a ski chalet and nordic ski courses and close to $400,000 went in to the City of Alma to bring their sites up to Games standards. With all these improvements to the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region, the legacy of the Games will be felt for many years to come. Sport enthusiasts will be able to use the facilities left behind from the Canada Games to enjoy the many different sporting pursuits that are included in the Games.
Figure skating was the most popular event for fans at the 1983 Canada Games. The figure skating events attracted over 21,000 fans. Lennox Lewis who is considered today to be one of the best heavyweight boxers in the world won a gold medal in the 81-kilogram class for Ontario. In the end Quebec won boxing with one gold and seven silver medals. The Quebec women’s volleyball team took gold with three Jonquiere women in the line-up. The win in front of hometown fans was the most popular of the Games.
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