Flint, MI— The 2021 Flint Olympics CANUSA games are underway, but this year looks a little different.

The three-day competition between junior athletes from the Flint area and Hamilton, Ontario will take place virtually Aug. 6 – Aug. 8 due to the Canada-US border closure. The event is supported by the Crim Fitness Foundation.

Typically, the host city alternates each year, and the student athletes live with families who also have youth competing in the games.  

“The whole premise of the games is experiencing the friendship, learning about each other’s cultures, and seeing the differences and similarities,” Sean Croudy said, coordinator for city wide sports at the Crim Foundation.

Student athletes participate in a variety of sports from soccer to shotput to archery.

“Sports bring the community together,” Croudy said. “Sports offer a lot of comradery, team effort. We’re teaching kids to congratulate each other on their failures and their accomplishments.”

CANUSA is the last International Junior Olympic competition in North America and has brought together over 700,000 athletes since it started in 1957. Past participants include famous Flint athletes like basketball players Morris Peterson and the late Terry Furlow.

The program originally began as the Greater Flint Olympic Games, but as demand for competition grew, Flint officials looked for different cities to compete against. Hamilton, Ontario was chosen due to its similar size.

And while the spirit of friendship is at the center of the games, they keep score, Croudy said.

“It’s definitely a competition. Even though is an experience of friendship, it’s actually a competition. The home country usually wins,” he said.

A schedule of events is listed below. The public is welcome to attend in-person.

August 6

  • 7:00 p.m.
    • 10 Pin Bowling, B’s Bowling Center, 750 S Center Rd. Flint, MI

August 7

  • 9:00 a.m.        
    • Swimming, Flint Golf Club, 3100 Lakewood Dr. Flint, MI
  • 10:00 a.m.
    • 10 Pin Bowling, B’s Bowling Center, 750 S Center Rd. Flint, MI
  • 11:00 a.m.
    • Skeet, Grand Blanc Huntsman Club, 9046 Irish Rd. Grand Blanc, MI
    • Darts, Fraternal Order of Eagles #629, 2149 N. Dort Hwy, Flint, MI

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

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