Waskasoo, the 2019 Canada Winter Games mascot, and some volunteers greet young athletes as they arrive on the campus of Red Deer College Thursday morning. Athletes from across Canada are arriving throughout the day today and tomorrow. Robin Grant/Red Deer College

WATCH: Canada Winter Games athletes arrive from across the country

Up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches will arrive throughout the day Thursday and Friday

Team Alberta arrived on the Red Deer College campus Thursday morning from Calgary and Edmonton.

Young athletes from across Canada will arrive throughout the day today and tomorrow, with the 2019 Canada Winter Games kicking off Friday.

All the athletes will live in residence on the RDC campus during the Games.

Team Alberta Communications Manager Guy Napert-Frenette said the energy-level is high when athletes arrive.

“For a lot of these athletes, this day signifies a dream coming true. Some of these athletes have been working toward this event for quite some time. For most of these athletes, this is their Olympic Games. A lot of these athletes will come here and it will be the biggest event they will participate in so they are all pretty excited.”

The first day of the Games begins with the Red Deer torch relay in the morning from Fort Normandeau to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame off of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway.

In the afternoon, the second relay will take off from Hunting Hills and end at the Opening Ceremony held at the Centrium beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Featuring 19 sports, over 150 events and a major arts and cultural festival, the Games will have up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 20,000 visitors.

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