Flint water crisis sends CANUSA Games back to Hamilton

Sports Mar 29, 2016 by Scott Radley The Hamilton Spectator

The CANUSA Games are coming back to Hamilton this summer.

The annual athletic competition between this city and Flint, Mich., that alternates between the two sites was scheduled to be in the American city this August.

However, the ongoing water crisis there led organizers to make the unprecedented decision to hold the Games back-to-back in Hamilton.

It's the first time in 59 years they'll be hosted by the same city twice in a row.

"We just felt it was the right thing to do," Hamilton CANUSA media director Terry Anderson said Tuesday.

In 2014, Flint's main water supply was switched from Detroit's system to the Flint River in a bid to save money.

However, the water wasn't treated correctly and it corroded older pipes, causing the liquid to be contaminated with lead. This toxic water was then consumed by unaware residents, leading to a full-blown public health crisis.

Even though Anderson says the water situation affects only a portion of the town and athletes from Hamilton could've been billeted elsewhere so they wouldn't have been placed in jeopardy, the perception was going to be difficult – if not impossible – to overcome.

As a result, he says, some parents likely wouldn't have allowed their children to participate. "We're assuming it would've been a discouragement for sure."

He says Flint's CANUSA board was fully on board with the decision.

According to Tourism Hamilton, which has already changed its website to reflect that the Games will be here again this year, roughly 800 young athletes compete in 17 sports each summer.

Organizers are planning to use the same venues as last year. The organizers of each sport will get more information at a meeting on April 7.

This year's event is scheduled to run from Aug. 5-7.

The plan is for the Games to return to Flint next summer.

sradley@thespec.com

905-526-2440 | @radleyatthespec

Flint water crisis sends CANUSA Games back to Hamilton

Sports Mar 29, 2016 by Scott Radley The Hamilton Spectator

The CANUSA Games are coming back to Hamilton this summer.

The annual athletic competition between this city and Flint, Mich., that alternates between the two sites was scheduled to be in the American city this August.

However, the ongoing water crisis there led organizers to make the unprecedented decision to hold the Games back-to-back in Hamilton.

It's the first time in 59 years they'll be hosted by the same city twice in a row.

"We just felt it was the right thing to do," Hamilton CANUSA media director Terry Anderson said Tuesday.

In 2014, Flint's main water supply was switched from Detroit's system to the Flint River in a bid to save money.

However, the water wasn't treated correctly and it corroded older pipes, causing the liquid to be contaminated with lead. This toxic water was then consumed by unaware residents, leading to a full-blown public health crisis.

Even though Anderson says the water situation affects only a portion of the town and athletes from Hamilton could've been billeted elsewhere so they wouldn't have been placed in jeopardy, the perception was going to be difficult – if not impossible – to overcome.

As a result, he says, some parents likely wouldn't have allowed their children to participate. "We're assuming it would've been a discouragement for sure."

He says Flint's CANUSA board was fully on board with the decision.

According to Tourism Hamilton, which has already changed its website to reflect that the Games will be here again this year, roughly 800 young athletes compete in 17 sports each summer.

Organizers are planning to use the same venues as last year. The organizers of each sport will get more information at a meeting on April 7.

This year's event is scheduled to run from Aug. 5-7.

The plan is for the Games to return to Flint next summer.

sradley@thespec.com

905-526-2440 | @radleyatthespec

Flint water crisis sends CANUSA Games back to Hamilton

Sports Mar 29, 2016 by Scott Radley The Hamilton Spectator

The CANUSA Games are coming back to Hamilton this summer.

The annual athletic competition between this city and Flint, Mich., that alternates between the two sites was scheduled to be in the American city this August.

However, the ongoing water crisis there led organizers to make the unprecedented decision to hold the Games back-to-back in Hamilton.

It's the first time in 59 years they'll be hosted by the same city twice in a row.

"We just felt it was the right thing to do," Hamilton CANUSA media director Terry Anderson said Tuesday.

In 2014, Flint's main water supply was switched from Detroit's system to the Flint River in a bid to save money.

However, the water wasn't treated correctly and it corroded older pipes, causing the liquid to be contaminated with lead. This toxic water was then consumed by unaware residents, leading to a full-blown public health crisis.

Even though Anderson says the water situation affects only a portion of the town and athletes from Hamilton could've been billeted elsewhere so they wouldn't have been placed in jeopardy, the perception was going to be difficult – if not impossible – to overcome.

As a result, he says, some parents likely wouldn't have allowed their children to participate. "We're assuming it would've been a discouragement for sure."

He says Flint's CANUSA board was fully on board with the decision.

According to Tourism Hamilton, which has already changed its website to reflect that the Games will be here again this year, roughly 800 young athletes compete in 17 sports each summer.

Organizers are planning to use the same venues as last year. The organizers of each sport will get more information at a meeting on April 7.

This year's event is scheduled to run from Aug. 5-7.

The plan is for the Games to return to Flint next summer.

sradley@thespec.com

905-526-2440 | @radleyatthespec