Laval’s young athletes soar to victory at 55th Jeux du Québec Finals

Provincial games participants win 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 5 Bronze medallions

Enthusiastic members of the Laval delegation to the 55th Jeux du Québec Finals entered the arena at Place Bell on July 22 where they were greeted by thunderous applause. (All photos: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

The 55th Jeux du Québec Finals, which were staged in Laval from July 22 – 30, came to a spectacular conclusion after eight days of competitive sports during which athletes from Laval proved themselves to be among the best in Quebec.

Well worth the wait

In all, 3,000 young athletes from all over the province took part in the sporting events. An estimated 130,000 visitors eagerly watched the events at 14 different staging areas all over the Laval region. The colorful opening and closing ceremonies took place at Place Bell.

“Just as we had hoped for the past two years, these Finals were well worth waiting for,” said the event’s general manager Marc DeBlois, who went on to call the 12 to 17-year-old athletes’ performances “amazing” and an experience they would never forget.

The Laval delegation to the 55th Finals of the Jeux du Québec enters the arena at Place Bell on July 22. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

“These young athletes are leaving Laval with vivid memories,” said Julie Gosselin, president of Sports Québec. “They now are part of the family of the Jeux and they will always be able to count on us for encouragement in their next challenges.”

A transforming experience

“Here we are at last,” delegated Quebec Minister for Education Isabelle Charest said during the opening. “After months of waiting and uncertainty, I have the following message for the athletes: Above and beyond the results, you will come out of this better for it in several different ways.”

Canadian Olympic diving champ Alexandre Despatie acted as one of the MCs during opening ceremonies.

“It’s no small tasks to play host for the most important multisport event in Quebec,” said Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer. “I am sure of one thing: the 55th Jeux du Québec Finals will be remembered as a major moment for Laval, but also as something memorable for the entire Quebec sports community.”

Athletes from the Jeux du Québec’s Rive-Sud region surged ahead early to lead all other regions in the province, with a total of 67 medals won, 23 of which were Gold, for 257 points in all. The Laval region finished 7th out of the 19 regions, with a total of 22 medals, including 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 5 Bronze, and an overall score of 32 points.

A collective effort

Part of the Laval delegation to the Jeux du Québec as seen on opening day on July 22.

Altogether, the Jeux du Québec’s athletes competed in 17 sport disciplines at facilities in Laval, as well as in Terrebonne and Saint-Eustache on the North Shore. The organizers were assisted by 1,500 volunteers, including many former Jeux du Québec participants.

In addition to the athletes, the 55th Finals of the Jeux du Québec also involved 750 coaches and companions, 285 emissaries, 350 major officials and 40 salaried employees. During the more than a week of ceremonies and competitions, 65,000 meals were served. In the end, 945 medals were awarded.

The next Jeux du Québec Finals, from March 3 – 11 next year, are being held in Rivière-du-Loup along the shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Quebec. In one of his last official gestures before closing the 55th Finals here, Mayor Boyer passed the Jeux du Québec flag to his counterpart, Rivière-du-Loup mayor Mario Bastille on the last day.

The 55th Jeux du Québec Finals by region:

Gold – Silver – Bronze – Points total

  • Abitibi-Témiscamingue 7 2 4 13
  • Bourassa 2 5 2 9
  • Capitale-Nationale 19 28 16 63
  • Centre-du-Québec 3 2 9 14
  • Chaudière-Appalaches 12 12 14 38
  • Côte-Nord 8 6 2 16
  • Est-du-Québec 3 3 6 12
  • Estrie 9 8 10 27
  • Lac Saint-Louis 5 8 4 17
  • Lanaudière 6 3 9 18
  • Laurentides 4 7 8 19
  • Laval 10 7 5 22
  • Mauricie 7 9 5 21
  • Montréal 14 9 13 36
  • Outaouais 9 5 10 24
  • Richelieu-Yamaska 6 2 1 9
  • Rive-Sud 23 26 18 67
  • Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean 1 6 9 16
  • Sud-Ouest 7 2 4 13