London’s population will balloon this weekend, as over 3500 athletes, coaches, and officials visit to participate in the London 2018 Ontario Summer Games. Athletes ranging from 12-18 years of age will compete in 21 different sports in various venues around the city from today through Sunday.
The Opening Ceremonies take place today at TD Waterhouse Stadium, with doors opening at 5:30pm and the Athlete’s Parade beginning at 6:30pm. The ceremonies will feature appearances by Scott Helman and Courage My Love! The opening ceremonies, as well as all events over the next four days, are free to attend.
Competition starts today as well, with mountain biking at Boler Mountain and soccer at the North London Athletic Fields. Events are taking place all over the city, but the bulk of the action will be at Western University.
For many of the young athletes, it will be their first experience in a multi-sport event.
“We really want to make sure athletes experience the feeling of several sports competing under the same umbrella,” said Cheryl Finn, chair of the games for the city. “They’ll be able to take in all of the sports as long as it fits with their schedule. They’ll be passing them on the way to their own competition while walking through the campus at Western University.”
Parking across the Games will be FREE in Ontario Summer Games designated lots, and parking information can be found on each individual sport page. Look for the Summer Games parking signs when you arrive at a venue. There is also a map of the Games designated lots on Western Campus. For the Opening Ceremonies tonight, please note that Philip Aziz Ave will be closed to vehicle traffic, and event-goers are being asked to park at either South Valley lot, Springett lot, or Huron Flats lot.
This is the fourth time that London has hosted the Summer Games, with the last being in 2004. London will also host the 2020 games.
“People really need to understand the uniqueness of London,” said Finn. “The uniqueness to host, house, feed 3,500 athletes, coaches and managers, but also the ability to put 21 sports in first-class facilities around the city.”