Remember the Golden Goal in Vancouver 2010? Seven years before that glorious goal, Sidney Crosby was competing in hockey as a member of Team Nova Scotia at the 2003 Canada Winter Games.

A true launching pad for young athletes on their journey to becoming an Olympian, Canada Games offers a place that unifies communities from coast to coast, ignites friendships for years to come, and allows our next generation of Olympians to experience a huge competition that tests their skills and helps them perfect their talents.

Until March 3rd, if you catch yourself in Red Deer, Alberta you too can watch the champions of tomorrow compete at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Each province and territory sends a team of high performance, Next Gen athletes to come together for two weeks and compete.

READ: Canada Games – Investing in the journey

Competitions are such an integral part of an athlete’s quest to top the podium. It offers them access to the top courses and training facilities in the world and exposes them to new competitors they can learn from and measure their talents against. Most of all, competitions are necessary as an athlete must qualify at certain events in order to go onto the Olympic Games. If they can’t get to those competitions, they will not be able to attend the Games as a member of Team Canada.

Competitions are a huge portion of an athlete’s expenses. Ranging anywhere from $500 for a domestic competition to $30,000 a year for International competitions, most athletes must be strategic about what competitions they can afford to go to. Even if it means missing something that could qualify them for their Olympic goals.

READ: Canada Games alumni have huge impact in PyeongChang

The Canada Games are so important to give our young athletes a taste of what’s to come. In PyeongChang, 34% of Team Canada athletes were Canada Games alumni and they represented nine of our ten provinces and two of three territories.

This year, there were upwards of 3,600 participants from over 800 communities in Canada competing at Canada Games in 19 different sports. The Canadian Olympic Foundation, through donations from Canadians like you, grants money to Canada Games, giving money to our Next Gen athletes to help these young, high performance Olympic hopefuls stand proudly on the podium throughout their sport careers and weave their way to achieving their Olympic goals. You can help these future Olympians achieve their dreams by donating here.

READ: Canada Games is where greatness begins

The Canada Games give so much to our future Olympians that allows them to flourish, make memories and get the experience they need to BE their best, DO their best and BECOME the best. No matter what province they come from, what small town they live in or what sport they compete in, Canada Games enables all young athletes the chance to showcase their skills and continue to conquer their dream of becoming an Olympian.