The 2010 Winter Games isn’t the only “big” sporting event coming to British Columbia in the future, because next month Dunlop Tires will be importing a group of athletes to the Lower Mainland that will dwarf the average Olympic skier, skater or hockey player: it’s the Dunlop Tires 7th North American Amateur Sumo Championship. The championship, which will be held at The Steveston Community Centre in Richmond on Saturday, August 23, 2003, will feature amateur sumo wrestlers from across Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica and Japan. Those attending the event can expect to see sumo wrestlers competing in a variety of weight classes, including the ever-popular “open category” where there are no weight limits and the competitors sometimes weigh over 500 pounds. This is the first time the event will have been held in British Columbia. “Since the Winter Games in British Columbia is still almost seven years away, we thought we’d help residents of the Lower Mainland pass the time with some world-class sumo action,” said Ian McIntosh, General Manager, Marketing & Advertising Services, Dunlop Tires (Canada). “At Dunlop Tires, we’re always looking for ways to make our mark by providing Canadians with unique and memorable experiences, and this event will certainly fit the bill.” “We’re very proud to be bringing the North American championships to British Columbia for the first time, and grateful for the support and enthusiasm of Dunlop Tires,” said Yoshisada Yonezuka, president of the North American Sumo Federation. “Sumo wrestling is the ultimate combination of raw strength, strategy, sportsmanship and tradition. Fans young and old, experienced and inexperienced are definitely in for a thrill.” In the past, Dunlop Tires has made its mark with a number of unique activities, such as setting a Guinness World Record for “largest group tire roll” and convincing Canadians named Dunlop to change their surnames to “Dunlop-Tire”. The Dunlop Tires 7th North American Amateur Sumo Championships is an official qualifying event for the world championships, to be held later this year. A limited number of tickets for the Dunlop Tires 7th North American Amateur Sumo Championships will be available at the Fujiya Japanese Foods (Richmond and Vancouver locations), Steveston Judo Club (604) 276.9510 and The Steveston Community Centre (604) 718.8080. Tickets are $25 each in advance and at the door, while supplies last.